Pressure on ARL selectors
THE Australian Rugby League (ARL) is under pressure from rival nations to include rebel Super League players in its World Cup squad later this year.
With every other league-playing nation aligned to Super League, the ARL is being told to select its best possible squad for the tournament in Britain in October.
Great Britain, New Zealand, France, Fiji and Western Samoa have all signed with the rebel code.
The ARL has banned Super League players from competing in representative football as punishment for signing with the breakaway code.
'Now that Super League has signed virtually every league-playing country, the stance by the ARL is very embarrassing,' Super League chief executive John Ribot said.
But ARL chief Ken Arthurson declared he would not be bullied. 'When you think about it, it's ridiculous that one country can be dictated to by others as to who to select or not select,' he said. 'We won't be intimidated and we will be sticking with the players who have shown their loyalty to the ARL.'