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The 1960 Rugby League World Cup was the third staging of the tournament and the first Rugby League World Cup to be held in Great Britain.[1] The same format as used in 1957 was used, with a group stage leading to a final table.

1960 (1960) World Cup  ()
Number of teams4
Host country England
Winner Great Britain (2nd title)

Matches played6
Attendance110,200 (18,367 per match)
Points scored154 (25.67 per match)
Top scorerAustralia Brian Carlson (22)
Top try scorerAustralia Brian Carlson (4)
 < 1957

The 1960 World Cup raised problems which had not really affected the previous tournaments. Live television of complete games was held responsible for lower than anticipated attendances, the largest crowd being the 32,773 which gathered at Odsal for the deciding match between Australia and the hosts.

For Australia the World Cup matches formed part of their Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain and France.[2]



Wigan Bradford
Central Park Odsal
Capacity: 40,000 Capacity: 40,000
Swinton Leeds
Station Road Headingley
Capacity: 35,000 Capacity: 30,000


24 September
Great Britain   23 – 8   New Zealand
Odsal, Bradford
Attendance: 20,577
24 September
Australia   13 – 12   France
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 20,278

France were close to beating Australia at Wigan, missing a penalty and four drop goal attempts in the closing minutes.

1 October
Australia   21 – 15   New Zealand
Headingley, Leeds
Attendance: 10,773
Referee: Eric Clay

Regarded as the most entertaining game of the series, Australian winger Brian Carlson scored a hat-trick of both tries and goals, but the highlight of the game was a bewildering try by Kiwi stand-off George Menzies which was so spectacular that even the referee, Eric Clay, applauded.

1 October
Great Britain   33 – 7   France
Station Road, Swinton
Attendance: 22,923
Referee: Edouard Martung

Britain's comprehensive victory over the French at Swinton was marred by the first double sending-off in World Cup annals, France's skipper Jean Barthe and Britain's second-rower Vince Karalius being despatched by Edouard Martung, a police inspector from Bordeaux.

8 October
France   0 – 9   New Zealand
Tries: Reid
Goals: Eastlake (3)
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 2,876

In the final round against New Zealand, France's second-rower Robert Eramouspe was dismissed for reckless kicking in a game which more closely resembled a brawl.

8 October
Great Britain   10 – 3   Australia
Tries: Boston, Sullivan
Goals: Rhodes (2)
Tries: Carlson
Odsal, Bradford
Attendance: 33,023[3]
Referee: Edouard Martung

No World Cup final was held, but by chance the final match of the series saw Great Britain take on Australia at Odsal, Bradford. As both teams were undefeated this match became a virtual World Cup final.

In the deciding match – a vicious affair in rain and mud at Odsal – Monsieur Martung did not send anyone off. Great Britain did play the better football between hostilities. First half tries from wingers Billy Boston – out injured in the first two games – and Mick Sullivan, and two goals from stand-in fullback Austin Rhodes effectively had the match won at 10–0. Brian Carlson scored the only Australian try ten minutes from time – too late to prevent British captain Eric Ashton from collecting the World Cup.

Final standingsEdit

Team Played Won Drew Lost For Against Difference Points
  Great Britain 3 3 0 0 66 18 +48 6
  Australia 3 2 0 1 37 37 0 4
  New Zealand 3 1 0 2 32 44 −12 2
  France 3 0 0 3 19 55 −36 0


  1. ^ Paddy McAteer (22 December 2010) "Whole World in their Hands" Archived 5 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine North West Evening Mail
  2. ^ "Australians in Rugby Win". The Age. 17 October 1960. p. 25. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  3. ^ Staff correspondent and AAP (10 October 1960). "English, Australian R.L. players turn World Cup game into wild brawling final". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 14. Retrieved 10 February 2010.