Wally's 'World Cup of Origin' gets mixed responses
Rugby league legend Wally Lewis has reportedly called for Queensland and New South Wales to field teams in future World Cup tournaments in order to give the event a more competitive edge.
Lewis points to the Great Britain & Ireland Lions splitting into separate teams. England, Scotland and Ireland are all competing in the World Cup. Wales also played matches in the World Cup qualifiers.
Supporters of the idea have gone further and suggested that NSW and Queensland could be placed in the same pool, meaning that only one of the two sides could advance to the final.
But the idea also has plenty of opposition. In particular, detractors point to the fact that NSW and Queensland are not nations, and splitting Australia into two teams would devalue the Australian jersey. Lewis himself concedes that playing for his country was his greatest honour and proudest moment.
Plus rugby league already has a competition for the two sides - the State of Origin.
Irish joke no laughing matter
In other news, Ireland are reportedly 'seething' after receiving some shabby treatment on their trip to Australia this week.
Irish officials boarded their flight in Manchester on Monday and were seated in Economy Class, only to find that England were seated in Business Class... on the same flight!
The British organisers insist that it was not meant as an insult and it was merely a 'funding issue'.
Players ponder prizemoney while NRL take a holiday
Meanwhile, Australian Rugby League officials have tried to reassure the Rugby League Professionals Association that players will receive a cut of the World Cup prizemoney, despite the ARL losing money during the tournament.
ARL chief executive Geoff Carr, in conceding that level of tardiness was present, said he was hoping to have the matter finalised by now. The finger pointing continued into the afternoon with Carr saying matters were delayed because NRL chief executive David Gallop and NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley were both on leave.
If Australia win the tournament, it's understood the ARL will give each player in the 24-man squad and coach Ricky Stuart $10,000 each - a payout figure of $250,000.
But the ARL are operating at a loss and therefore require the backing of the NRL before it can sign-off on guaranteed prizemoney.
Overall, the World Cup will offer $2 million in prizemoney for the 10 competing nations.
The winning team will receive $650,000, the runners-up will receive $525,000. The remainder will be distributed on a sliding scale to other teams, according to where they finish in the competition.
The tournament kicks off in Townsville on October 25 with England taking on Papua New Guinea. The final will be staged at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 22.