Rugby World Cup 1960

For the first time, the Rugby League World Cup returned to the mother country, with Great Britain hosting another four-team tournament including Australia, New Zealand and France once more.

Just as the Australians had been inspired by home advantage three years previously, so the Lions came to dominate the tournament with what has come to be regarded as one of their finest-ever teams, under the captaincy of Wigan's Eric Ashton.

The hosts began the group stage by putting five tries past New Zealand at Bradford's Odsal Stadium to record a 23-8 victory, while reigning champions Australia had an altogether more difficult task in edging out France 13-12 at Central Park, Wigan.

Station Road in Swinton, Manchester, saw Great Britain overturn a declining French side 33-7, while Australia were setting up the perfect showdown overcoming New Zealand 21-15 at Headingley, Leeds.

That left the Kangaroos and the Lions unbeaten going into the final pool matches with the pair set to meet at Odsal.

Tries from the legendary Great Britain wings Mick Sullivan and Wigan's Billy Boston, to one by top tournament points-scorer Brian Carlson, saw the hosts claim their first trophy in a narrow 10-3 victory, with 32,000 watching.

France and New Zealand, meanwhile, effectively played out a dead rubber in front of less than 3,000 fans at Central Park, won by the Kiwis 9-0.

With Great Britain clearly out in front, no full final was needed once more, so, as in 1957, the victors once again took on a Rest of the World XIII, featuring five of the vanquished Australians, winning the exhibition 37-22.

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