2011 RUGBY LEAGUE FOUR-NATIONS OVERVIEW
Host Nation – England and Wales
Number of Teams – 4
Highest Crowd – 42,344 (Wembley Stadium London)
Average Crowd – 18,295
Total Crowd – 128,066
2011 Four-Nations Snapshot – The 2011 Four-Nations is the 3rd instalment of the highly successful rugby league competition. With the ongoing improvement of 2nd tier nations, the successful Tri-Nations series has been expanded. The Four-Nations will take place in England and Wales in October / November 2011.
Each team will play each other once in the pool rounds with the top two nations contesting the final. The Four Nations will run over four weeks. The double header concpet will continue with England playing Australia and Wales playing New Zealand at Wembely Stadium in London on the 5th November. Wales will also be taking on Australia at the home of the Crusaders RL, Racecourse Stadium Wrexham. All other games will be played in Rugby League heartland in the North of England. The Four Nations Final will be played at Elland Road Leeds.
The 2010 European Cup winners Wales have secured their place as the fourth team in the 2011 Four Nations. This will be the first time Wales have played in the Tri / Four Nations tournament and caps off a big few years for Welsh rugby league. This is a huge positive for international rugby league as 6 nations would have taken part in the Four Nations when the 2011 tournament kicks off. The RLIF’s plan to develop the international game is starting to pay off.
Wales rugby league has been through a rebirth which has seen local rugby league competitions drive a big increase in junior participation. In a small set back for Wales the Crusaders, Wales only SL team withdrew from SL at the end of 2011. Wales are going to have a big challenge on their hands. In many ways the 2011 Four nations is a test run for Wales Rugby League as they approach the 2013 Rugby League World Cup as joint hosts with England. Wales will also have pressure on them to preform as critics question weather the expanded Tri-Nations series is the way to go after the likes of France (2009) and Papua New Guinea (2010) suffered some heavy defeats at the hands of the big three.
The 2011 Four Nations is shaping up to be the most successful Tri/Four Nations tournament staged to date and will continue with the Rugby League International Federation’s (RLIF) plans to strengthen the international game at the top level. It is now over to Wales to fly the flag of 2nd teir nations and prove they can compete against the best three rugby league teams in the world.
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2011 FOUR NATIONS SQUADS
Australia: Darius Boyd (St George Illawarra Dragons), Daly Cherry-Evans (Many Sea Eagles), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks), Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabittohs), Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Luke Lewis (Penrith Panthers), Darren Lockyer (Brisbane Broncos), Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys), David Shillington (Canberra Raiders), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Brett Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), Beau Scott (St George IIlawarra Dragons), Dave Taylor (South Sydney Rabittohs), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowlboys), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Anthony Watmough (Manly Sea Eagles), Tony Williams (Manly Sea Eagles), Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos)
England: Carl Ablett (Leeds), Ryan Bailey (Leeds), Tom Briscoe (Hull), Garreth Carvell (Warrington), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers), James Graham (St Helens), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers), Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Danny McGuire (Leeds), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Adrian Morley (Warrington), Jamie Peacock (Leeds, capt), Jack Reed (Brisbane), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Kirk Yeaman (Hull).
Wales: Chris Beasley (Central Comets, Australia), Andy Bracek (Crusaders), Lee Briers (Warrington), Neil Budworth (MacKay Cutters, Australia), Ross Divorty (Featherstone), Gil Dudson (Crusaders), Ben Flower (Crusaders), Tyson Frizell (Cronulla, Australia), Andrew Gay (South Wales Scorpions), Aled James (South Wales Scorpions), Jordan James (Crusaders), Danny Jones (Halifax), Craig Kopzcak (Bradford), Eliot Kear (Crusaders), Mark Lennon (Thirroul Butchers, Australia), Peter Lupton (Crusaders), Christiaan Roets (South Wales Scorpions), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly, Australia), Gareth Thomas (Crusaders), Ian Watson (Swinton), Ian Webster (Central Comets, Australia), Lloyd White (Crusaders), Lee Williams (Crusaders), Rhys Williams (Warrington).
New Zealand: Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Lewis Brown, Nathan Fien, Kieran Foran, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Alex Glenn, Krisnan Inu, Thomas Leuluai, Kevin Locke, Issac Luke, Sam McKendry, Simon Mannering, Sika Manu, Benji Marshall (capt), Ben Matulino, Fuifui Moimoi, Jason Nightingale, Russell Packer, Kevin Proctor, Jeremy Smith, Elijah Taylor, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
2011 FOUR-NATIONS POOL ROUNDS
Game 1: Oct 28th (8pm) Australia 26 – New Zealand 12, Location – Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, Crowd – 12,491 (Capacity – 13,024)
Game 2: Oct 29th (2.30pm) England 42 – Wales 4, Location – Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, Crowd – 10,377(Capacity – 11,000)
Game 3: Nov 5th (1pm) Wales 0 – New Zealand 36, Location – Wembley Stadium, London, Crowd 42,344 – (Capacity – 90,000)
Game 4: Nov 5th (3.30pm) England 20 – Australia 36, Location – Wembley Stadium, London, Crowd – 42,344 (Capacity – 90,000)
Game 5: Nov 12th (6pm) England 28 – New Zealand 6, Location – KC Stadium, Hull, Crowd – 23,447 (Capacity – 25,404)
Game 6: Nov 13th (5.45pm) Wales 14 – Australia 56, Location – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Crowd – 5,233 (Capacity – 15,500)
2011 Four-Nations Final
Nov 19th (6pm) England 8 – Australia 30, Location – Elland Road, Leeds, Crowd – 34,174 (Sellout)
2011 Four-Nations Champions: Australia