Rugby League Four Nations
|Number of teams||4|
|Related competitions||World Cup|
|Current champions||New Zealand (2nd title)|
|Most successful team(s)|| Australia
(2 titles each)
The Rugby League Four Nations, known as the Gillette Four Nations for sponsorship, is a biennial rugby league football tournament run in partnership between the Australian Rugby League Commission, Rugby Football League and New Zealand Rugby League representing the top three nations in the sport: Australia, England and New Zealand. The tournament replaced the previous Tri-Nations format by including a fourth nation that qualifies by winning their respective regional competition in a rotation between Europe and the South Pacific. France accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural tournament in 2009. The tournament is sponsored by Gillette and therefore officially known as the Gillette Four Nations. No tournament was contested in 2012 to allow teams to prepare for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Format
- 3 Results
- 4 Sponsorship
- 5 Attendances
- 6 Player Statistics
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The Four Nations replaced the Tri-Nations tournament that was contested between Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. The competition ceased in 2006 with the RLIF wanting more nations to play in regular tournaments with the 'Big Three'. England replaced Great Britain as the third nation and the fourth nation has to qualify, depending on where the tournament is being played the fourth nation is either from the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.
2009-2013: First competitions
The inaugural Four Nations was played in England and France in 2009 with France qualifying to be the fourth nation via winning the 2005 European Championship. The big three dominated the tournament with Australia beating England in the final. The next tournament was played the following year in 2010 with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea hosting the tournament. PNG qualified as the fourth nation through the 2009 Pacific Cup. The big three again dominated and New Zealand beat Australia in the final for their first title. 2011 was the third consecutive tournament being held in England and Wales, Wales qualified by winning the 2010 European Championship. The final was a repeat of 2009 with Australia beating England. The tournament was not played in 2012 to give teams a rest before the 2013 World Cup.
2014-present: Regular competition
The next Four Nations was played in 2014 after the World Cup. The competition was played in the Southern Hemisphere fir the first time since 2010 with Samoa qualifying as the fourth nation. Samoa impressed, although they did not win a game they had close games against the big three. New Zealand beat Australia in the final.
The next tournament is due to be played in England in 2016. The final for the 2016 tournament will take place at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool; up to this point every Four Nations final in England had been held at Elland Road, Leeds.
The fourth nation alternates between Europe and the Pacific and to date each tournament has seen a different team take part. Rugby League European Cup decides the qualifier from Europe and the Pacific Rugby League International decides the qualifier from the Pacific.
In 2009 a qualifying tournament was held, the Pacific Cup, involving Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands. The winners, Papua New Guinea, qualified for the 2010 Four Nations. Likewise in 2010, the European Nations Cup decided the fourth participant in the 2011 tournament, Wales. In 2014, a single game was staged to decide the fourth team for that year with Samoa beating Fiji 32-16. That same year, it was announced that the winner of the 2014 European Cup would qualify for the 2016 Four Nations, the winning team being Scotland who qualified on points difference by just 3 points over France.
|2009||2005 European Nations Cup||France|
|2010||2009 Pacific Cup||Papua New Guinea|
|2011||2010 European Nations Cup||Wales|
|2014||2014 Pacific Qualifier||Samoa|
|2016||2014 European Nations Cup||Scotland|
The tournament is organised in round-robin format. Each team play the others once, before the top two teams play each other in a tournament final. The top two teams are calculated using a league table. Teams receive:
- 2 points for a win
- 1 point for a draw
- 0 points for a loss
For and against then separates teams on equal points.
To date no fourth nation has appeared in the final of the Four Nations and no team from outside of Oceania has won the tournament despite England appearing in two finals, losing both to Australia. Furthermore, no fourth nation has even won a single game despite Samoa losing their first two games of the 2014 tournament by just one try each.
The largest winning margin in a game was in 2010 when New Zealand beat Papua New Guinea by 76-12, a margin of 64 points. There has only been one draw in the history of the tournament when Australia and New Zealand fought out a 20-20 draw in the 2009 tournament.
Papua New Guinea
|1||Australia||4||2 (2011, 2009)||2 (2010, 2014)|
|2||New Zealand||4||2 (2010, 2014)||0|
|3||England||4||0||2 (2011, 2009)|
|5||Papua New Guinea||1||0||0|
|2009-14||Gillette||Gillette Four Nations|
|2016-||Ladbrokes||Ladbrokes Four Nations|
(as of 18 November 2014)
The average attendances of the Four Nations tournaments fluctuate between the northern and southern hemisphere competitions with the southern hemisphere always having higher averages than the previous tournaments in the northern hemisphere. The largest change between two tournaments was between 2009 and 2010 which saw a 18.45% increase or an average of 3,060. The largest total stadium capacity was 214,500 in 2010 despite this tournament having the lowest stadium occupancy with 64.10%.
|Year||Host||Total attendance||Matches||Average attendance||% of change||Stadium Capacity||% Capacity|
To date, there has been 3 attendances over 40,000 and 6 attendances over 30,000. Two of these attendances were double-headers which took place at Wembley Stadium, London in 2011 and Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane in 2014; these double-headers are also the largest attendances in the respective hemispheres. 3 of these games were tournament finals in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
|1|| England v Samoa
Australia v New Zealand
|Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia||47,813||2014|
|2|| Australia v New Zealand
England v Papua New Guinea
|Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand||44,324||2010|
|3|| Wales v New Zealand
England v Australia
|Wembley Stadium, London, England||42,344||2011|
|4||Australia v New Zealand||Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia||36,299||2010|
|5||England v Australia||Elland Road, Leeds, England||34,174||2011|
The lowest attendance in a Four Nations game was in 2011 when 5,233 attended the game between Wales and Australia at Racecourse Ground, Wrexham. Two other attendances have been below 10,000 with the 2009 game in Paris having 6,234 and the 2010 game in Rotorua having 6,000. The lowest attendance for a final was in 2014 when 25,093 attended the game between New Zealand and Australia at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
As of 2014 Four Nations (in order of matches played and highest attendance).
|Stadium||City||Matches played||Highest Attendance|
|Forsyth Barr Stadium||Dunedin||1||15,863|
|Halliwell Jones Stadium||Warrington||1||12,491|
|Leigh Sports Village||Leigh||1||10,377|
|Stade Sébastien Charléty||Paris||1||6,234|
|Rotorua International Stadium||Rotorua||1||6,000|
New Zealand winger, Jason Nightingale is the top try-scorer in tournament history with 11, having taken part in 10 games and every tournament but the 2009 event. The top try-scorer for Australia is Greg Inglis with 10 tries, also from 10 games; Inglis took part in all tournaments but 2010 despite travelling with the team. The top try-scorer for England is Ryan Hall with 8 tries from 12 games, playing in every tournament to date. The highest try-scorer for a 4th nation is Daniel Vidot (Samoa) who scored 3 tries in the 2014 tournament, the only one which Samoa have taken part in so far.
|11||Jason Nightingale (New Zealand)|
|10||Greg Inglis (Australia)|
|9||Brett Morris (Australia)|
|8||Billy Slater (Australia), Ryan Hall (England)|
|7||Cooper Cronk (Australia)|
|6||Sam Tomkins (England), Sam Perrett (New Zealand), Junior Sa'u (New Zealand)|
|5||Michael Jennings (Australia), Lance Hohaia (New Zealand)|
|4||Darius Boyd (Australia), Luke Lewis (Australia), Cameron Smith (Australia), Brent Tate (Australia), Johnathan Thurston (Australia), Sam Burgess (England), Tony Clubb (England), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (New Zealand)|
|3||Darren Lockyer (Australia), Josh Morris (Australia), Willie Tonga (Australia), Peter Fox (England), Luke Robinson (England), Sika Manu (New Zealand), Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand), Daniel Vidot (Samoa)|
|2||Daly Cherry-Evans (Australia), Ben Hunt (Australia), Chris Lawrence (Australia), Tony Williams (Australia), Jharal Yow Yeh (Australia)
Gerard Beale (New Zealand), Nathan Fien (New Zealand), Bryson Goodwin (New Zealand), Shaun Johnson (New Zealand), Benji Marshall (New Zealand), Frank-Paul Nuuausala (New Zealand), Frank Pritchard (New Zealand), Jeremy Smith (New Zealand), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (New Zealand)
|1||Paul Gallen (Australia), Jarryd Hayne (Australia), David Klemmer (Australia), Josh Mansour (Australia), Sione Mata'utia (Australia), Josh Papalii (Australia), Beau Scott (Australia), Matthew Scott, Sam Thaiday (Australia), Lote Tuqiri (Australia), Akuila Uate (Australia)
Josh Charnley (England), Kyle Eastmond (England), Gareth Ellis (England), Liam Farrell (England), James Roby (England), James Graham (England), Michael Shenton (England), Kevin Sinfield (England), Joel Tomkins (England), Kirk Yeaman (England)
Lewis Brown (New Zealand), Greg Eastwood (New Zealand), Kalifa Faifai Loa (New Zealand), Kieran Foran (New Zealand), Issac Luke (New Zealand), Kevin Locke, Simon Mannering (New Zealand), Ben Matulino (New Zealand), Kevin Proctor (New Zealand), Dean Whare (New Zealand)
The three highest overall points-scorers are goal-kickers with Johnathan Thurston being top, having scored 94 points; 78 of these points have come from 39 goals. The highest points-scorer who is not a goal kicker is Jason Nightingale who has scored 44 points from 11 tries and is the 4th highest points scorer.
|Overall Four Nations Tournament Top Point-Scorers|
|3||Benji Marshall||New Zealand||2||25||0||58|
|4||Jason Nightingale||New Zealand||11||0||0||44|
|8||Bryson Goodwin||New Zealand||2||13||0||34|
|=||Sam Perrett||New Zealand||6||0||0||24|
|=||Junior Sau||New Zealand||6||0||0||24|
|=||Lance Hohaia||New Zealand||5||0||0||20|