League: NZRL coffers to benefit from early exit

By Steve Mascord

Benji Marshall was named five-eighth of the year at the Rugby League International Federation awards. Photo / Getty Images
Benji Marshall was named five-eighth of the year at the Rugby League International Federation awards. Photo / Getty Images

LEEDS - New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is set benefit financially from losing to England and missing out on this weekends' Four Nations final.

NZRL financial controller Alex Hayton said that while the Kiwis would walk away with just £25,000 ($57,696) in prize money - compared with £100,000 that goes to the winners - an England-Australia decider would mean a bonanza for the three tournament partners.

The Kiwis will also save travel and accommodation costs by heading home today instead of next week.

"In the end, the prize money is a very small component of the overall financial picture," Hayton said in Leeds.

"Australia, New Zealand and England are the tournament partners with France invited to take part and given an appearance fee.

"The partners split the overall profits. England qualifying for the final makes it more likely that there is a full house, whereas Australia-New Zealand would have been a harder sell.

"So from that point of view, the financial return will probably be healthier because England are in the final."

It is expected this weekend's gate will more than compensate the NZRL, which suffered a poor financial return the last time the Kiwis visited Europe in 2007.

Meanwhile, Kiwis Benji Marshall and Fuifui Moimoi have won positional awards from the Rugby League International Federation.

Despite spending much of the year at halfback with the Wests Tigers, Marshall was named stand-off of 2009 and Moimoi the year's best prop.

Australian Jarryd Hayne was named International Player of the Year but was not among the nominees for the rival and more established Golden Boot award.

Moimoi was shortlisted for that award, as was Gareth Ellis, Greg Inglis, Kevin Sinfield, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.

RLIF awards 2009

Player of the Year: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta and Australia)
Rookie of the Year: Ryan Hall (Leeds and England)
Referee of the Year: Shayne Hayne (Australia)
Coach of the Year: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne and NSW)

Team of the Year
Fullback: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta and Australia)
Winger: Ryan Hall (Leeds and England)
Centre: Greg Inglis (Melbourne and Australia)
Stand-off: Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers and New Zealand)
Halfback: Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland and Australia)
Prop: Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta and New Zealand)
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Melbourne and Australia)
Second row: Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers and England)
Loose forward: Kevin Sinfield (Leeds and England)

- NZPA

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