One of those sporting events has been one of Rugby League's most important fixtures - the Four Nations Tournament.
World Champions – the New Zealand Kiwis – took out the final against a cocky Australian Kangaroos team 16 to 12 in a thrilling match.
Now, you might not think an article on Rugby League is not news worthy given the problems faced by the Australian Cricket selectors in the lead up to next week's Ashes launch, but world Rugby League continues to struggle despite the rise of New Zealand as world champions and Four Nations victors.
It could be argued that New Zealand's rise to world champions can be traced back to the NZ Warriors admission into the Australian domestic competition. It gave greater opportunities for young players to hit the first grade sooner and gave rise to a strong and weathered group of young players.
However, distance, and lack of basic sporting infrastructure, has left other rugby league nations falling further behind Australia and New Zealand.
Results from the recent four nations tournament clearly shows rugby league, in its present form is not a world game.
Aside from Australia and New Zealand only England managed a win from their three matches while PNG could only manage to get within 24 points of a win.
Another concept for international rugby league that should be examined further is the idea of regions rather than nations. So, for instance, a six regions competition based on Queensland, NSW, New Zealand, the Pacific, Great Britain (as opposed to England) and greater Europe.
This would allow a greater number of high quality players to be selected in individual teams and provide a more even playing field for regions that do not have the population or strength of domestic competitions to field an international quality team.
The reality is that international rugby league cannot and will not sustain itself in the current format. Crowds have become sick and tired of 70-0 score lines and won't turn up to matches and players won't risk the prospect of an injury against the Kumuls.
While rugby league is in the shadows of the Ashes lets home the international rugby league governing body makes the tough decisions.