Ashes plans abandoned

England and Australia have abandoned plans to contest the Ashes in the end of season Four Nations.

The Australia Rugby League agreed with the RFL that the Ashes would be contested in one-off matches in each of the next three years, but the plans have been called off after strong opposition.

RFL chairman Richard Lewis said: “It was an idea born out of a great sporting rivalry and it is a credit of the Australians that they were prepared to consider the move.

“Understandably, there are some passionate views about the Rugby League Ashes in the light of its rich history.

“Since 1908 these contests have held a unique place in the game and we believe any change to the format under which they are to be decided would need more consideration than can be given between now and the Four Nations.”

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr added: “We were initially happy to accept any challenge, but, after representations from a number of individuals and groups, we are more than happy to focus on winning the Gillette Four Nations trophy itself.

“The strong feeling expressed about the Ashes are a reminder of how much these contests mean to people and we will no doubt have further discussion regarding an Ashes series in the near future.”

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