The Rugby Football League has revealed it made a loss of more than PS2million ($NZ4 million) last year but insists there is no cause for alarm.
England celebrate Elliot Whitehead's try against New Zealand.
The governing body, which reported a profit every year from 2002-15, says the annual accounts to be published in full later this year will show a loss of PS2.029 million ($NZ3.95 million) for 2017 but it is confident of returning to the black this year.
The RFL says much of the deficit was due to investment in the international game, especially with no income from England home matches, and the focus was on preparations for both the 2017 World Cup Down Under and the 2021 tournament to be held in England.
The RFL had to foot the bill for business-class flights to Sydney for the mid- season Test against Samoa and it is also thought the governing body suffered a heavy financial loss over the decision to abandon a pre-season training camp in Dubai following opposition from Super League clubs.
The loss is also thought to include pay-offs to departed senior executives Nigel Wood and Roger Draper.
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