International Rugby League (IRL) boss Troy Grant has told the Canberra Times that World Cup officials could seek an injunction against the ARL Commission if Australia and New Zealand try and play end-of-season test matches.
The 2021 World Cup was thrown into disarray when Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the tournament, citing concerns about COVID-19 and quarantine issues upon returning Down Under.
But, World Cup organisers are still hopeful that the competition can still go ahead – even if the two best sides in the world are not present.
That being said, the Kiwis and Kangaroos still want international tests to take place at the end of the year, but after pulling out of the World Cup, Grant says that official test-match status would not be present if a fixture was arranged.
“Any of those matches have to be sanctioned or get approval,” Grant told the Australian Associated Post.
“If the World Cup was cancelled or postponed then that would be of potential.
“But I am not sure it would be looked upon favourably if it was run whilst the World Cup was supposed to be run.”
Asked if a match could still be played as a friendly or exhibition game, Grant warned there could still be potential sanctions considered for both nations.
“There are a lot of scenarios there,” Grant said.
“But the World Cup could probably take an injunction out on it happening from a commercial point of view if it was an event in contrast to what they were supposed to be doing.
“Or they could play it, risking (IRL) sanction.”