Cowboys and Kangaroos player Matt Scott.
Cowboys and Kangaroos player Matt Scott. DAVE HUNT

Four Nations sparks players' interest in Ashes-style tours

RUGBY LEAGUE: Cowboys prop Matt Scott is encouraging an international program along the lines of rugby's British and Irish Lions or cricket's Ashes tours for the Kangaroos.

Scott told media that Australian players probably would give up their spring break to play against Great Britain for the first time in 12 years.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has used the 1994 Kangaroos' loss to Great Britain and the 1995 World Cup defeat by England, both at Wembley, as inspiration for tomorrow night's (midnight AEST) Four Nations clash with England in London.

This has sparked interest in the players for more international rugby league.

"He wanted to reiterate what a privilege it is to play Test footy and what an opportunity it is for us on Sunday,” Scott said.

"I think it's good to have a year off rep footy, especially after World Cups because it's such a big tournament.

"But there's different ways we can structure it, and if it was a couple of Tests - particularly at home - it'd be great.

"I'd love to play a British Lions tour or an Ashes-type structure. I think the NRL are looking at that as a bit of a plan over the next 10 years, about what we can do around our international footy.

"I think it is growing. It's getting stronger. I'd love to play a few more Tests against England (or Great Britain) because they don't come around too often.”

Great Britain was preparing to tour Australasia last year, but was forced to stay home because the Rugby League Professionals Association negotiated the spring off.

Broncos and Kangaroos utility Matt Gillett added: "A few of the senior players also spoke to us about England. The times that we have (played) England, it's always come down to the back end of the game. That's the mindset we're going in with. All we can do is expect that.”

Gillett - who expects Sam Thaiday (knee) to play - said the losses in 1994 and 1995 "could be a good thing and a bad thing and play on your mind”.

If New Zealand beats Scotland by 30 points or less at Workington this morning, England needs only to win to proceed to the Anfield final. If it's more than 30, it has to make up the difference.

MOST RECENT MEETINGS

Nov 2014: Aust 16 Eng 12, Melb

Nov 2011: Eng 8 Aust 30, Leeds

Nov 2011: Eng 20 Aust 36, London

Oct 2010: Aust 34 Eng 14, Melb

Nov 2009: Eng 16 Aust 46, Leeds

Oct 2009: Eng 16 Aust 26, Wigan

Nov 2008: Aust 52 Eng 4, Melb


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