2023 is a big year for rugby league.
Not only is the sport in the final year of big TV deals with Sky Sports, Viaplay and Channel 4.
Moreover, behind the scenes IMG are set to re-imagine the sport ahead of the 2024 season.
All the while, rugby league is riding the crest of the wave of the Rugby League World Cup after a brilliant viewership in 2023.
However, as many work behind the scenes to ensure international rugby continues to grow and develop it has been confirmed that IMG can’t influence it by RL Commercial.
They said: “The autumn internationals at the end of the year, IMG can’t influence that. That is a Rugby League Commercial and RFL relationship conversation with opponents. There are elements where we have to in some way be the gatekeepers of the IMG relationship, but we also have our own world to run and manage and our own P&L to look after, which ultimately filters back down into the clubs.”
Meanwhile, RL Commercial also confirmed that there are negotiations ongoing with an international side for this autumn’s international series.
However, the NRL’s negotiations with CBA is stifling them from signing off on this series but once resolved it should soon be confirmed.
This team remained unnamed but it seems that it will likely be Samoa or Tonga.
Once the CBA is sorted in Australia, the RFL will begin talks with the NRL about internationals in 2024.
Speaking on Sky Sports today, Jenna Brooks revealed that the favourites to play England are indeed Tonga and that will be confirmed when the CBA is settled.