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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Super' Rugby Setback

SYDNEY () -- Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's plans for a breakaway rugby league competition in Australia suffered a legal setback Friday, casting doubt on the future of his rebel Super League.

A federal court ruling against Murdoch's News Ltd. and Super League proved a major victory for the Australian Rugby League, the sport's domestic ruling body since 1908, in their bitter 11-month battle for supremacy.

In a 220-page judgment, Judge James Burchett upheld as valid loyalty agreements binding eight existing clubs, including 1995 champions Sydney Bulldogs and the Canberra Raiders, to the ARL until the end of the 1999 season.

Burchett dismissed a News Ltd. bid to free the clubs from the agreements under Australia's trade practices laws.