The Australian Rugby League is set to introduce the code into China. In a bold initiative, two clubs are planning to play a series of exhibition matches in leading cities including Shanghai and Beijing later this year. Senior league officials have held talks with Chinese representatives and hope to use the tour as part of a cultural exchange. An invitation was made to the Gold Coast club from Chinese Ambassador to Australia Hua Junbuo when he was a guest in the holiday area two weeks ago. 'We are very keen on the proposal and are working out who should go, the funding and the correct protocols once we get there,' Chargers president Tom Bellew said. 'It is a very exciting concept and the Chinese officials are convinced their people would be interested in watching league. 'They also believe that the games could be shown on the national television network, which would be a real coup. 'The plan at this stage is to send a Gold Coast team and another side over late in the year for possibly three exhibition matches. 'There is also a possibility that a supporters tour would be put together to accompany the players.' The Australian Rugby League has spent millions of dollars developing the code in countries like the United States, Fiji, Japan, Morocco, Russia and Samoa in recent years. But the code has yet to make inroads into China, the world's biggest country with the biggest population. 'That is what makes this so exciting,' Bellew said. 'Getting our foot in the door over there could open up endless possibilities.' In other news this week: Manly's former Kangaroo forward Ian Roberts has announced he will finish his career with a season at North Queensland in 1997. But the Cowboys have denied signing Roberts' Manly teammate Cliff Lyons. Cowboys coach Graham Lowe is recovering in a Sydney hospital after another bout of heart surgery. Doctors successfully cleared a blocked artery and the popular former New Zealand coach is making a steady recovery. Lowe is expected to be released within a week. Sydney City half-back John Simon is seeking a release from his contract, possibly to join Parramatta next year. Simon has lost his regular first-grade spot to the outstanding Adrian Lam.