Kevin Sinfield hits out at NRL’s plan for international rugby league

KEVIN Sinfield has told the meddling NRL it is talking nonsense with its grand international plan that would essentially leave England second class citizens.

The governing body Down Under produced its vision for Test rugby league, with the eagerly awaited reinstated Great Britain side's tour for 2019 delayed and Australia instead coming over here.

 Kevin Sinfield believes the NRL plan for international rugby league is disappointing

Mark Robinson – The Sun
Kevin Sinfield believes the NRL plan for international rugby league is disappointing

And the proposal for a Four Nations tournament which would see England play France, Papua New Guinea and Fiji in 2020 and the lack of the mid-season Test against New Zealand sparked the biggest reaction ahead of the following year's World Cup.

"That raised both of my eyebrows," said Sinfield, the Rugby Football League's rugby director who is drawing up plans to help a tilt at the 2021 tournament in England.

A Rugby League International Federation meeting later this month will sort out the differences, with the Aussies wanting a Four Nations for them with stronger sides New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa, after a calendar was thought to have been arranged.

But Sinfield added: "We need meaningful fixtures as a nation, and I mean that respectfully, leading to the World Cup and I thought 2020 would be the year we'd play for the Ashes again. I'd be really disappointed if that's changed.

"We need to be playing the best teams in the world – Australia, New Zealand and Tonga – regularly. We've been working on a plan for some time."

 Former England star Sinfield is masterminding England's bid for success at the 2021 World Cup

Rex Features
Former England star Sinfield is masterminding England's bid for success at the 2021 World Cup

Rugby League's World Cup has already brought a £10 million boost to the game in the form of Government funds for new facilities, which could be doubled to £20 million.

And Sinfield believes that could have as big an impact as the tournament itself, adding: "What we provide to the children is really important.

"The amateur club I came from, Waterhead, still has barbed wire wrapped around the roof to stop kids climbing up and there's no windows, with bars and breeze blocks where they used to be.

"Those are the environments in which a lot of community clubs are based and a little bit of money going into them would have a huge effect.

"Look at different sports where a new set of parents turns up with their child who wants to try it and they see some of the equipment and facilities they're based with, then they head to a different sport and see what that provides. Sometimes it makes the decision there and then."

KEVIN Sinfield has told the meddling NRL it is talking nonsense with its grand international plan that would essentially leave England second class citizens.