Manly nominate Dubai as neutral venue for meeting with Rhinos

Manly Sea Eagles conceded home advantage to Leeds Rhinos yesterday for the 2012 World Club Challenge, but are proposing the event be played in Dubai in the future.

The annual match between the two hemisphere champions has taken place in on English soil for the past 11 years, but Manly chairman Scott Penn has urged the Rugby Football League and the NRL to consider playing the game in Dubai.

"There's no reason why we can't play the game in Dubai or somewhere in the Middle East," Penn told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It could really benefit the game.

"I've spoken to a few people about it and from what I understand they have a 30,000-seat stadium there that would be ideal."

NRL manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk said the proposal would be considered if it had the right backing.

"We would look at any types of proposals to take a game of that nature to another country," he said.

"There are big expenses associated with taking the game to somewhere like that.

"We'd need to explore commercial partners and offers and the RFL would feel similar to us. But if that type of offer did come around we would definitely look at that."


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