Rugby League: Jackson bargain for Eagles

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles have signed Halifax's former Great Britain forward Michael Jackson for a bargain pounds 28,000, after the game's first round of conditional transfer tribunals.

Sheffield reserved the right to pull out of the deal if they felt the tribunal's valuation was too high, but went ahead with the signing after yesterday's ruling.

"With Paul Carr and our other new signing, Darren Shaw, Michael gives us plenty of options in the second row," said the Eagles coach, John Kear, who still hopes to sign the Leeds and New Zealand stand-off Tony Kemp before Monday's Challenge Cup deadline.

In another tribunal ruling, St Helens must pay Castleford pounds 60,000 for their Great Britain U-21 winger, Chris Smith. Saints will also have to pay an extra pounds 15,000 after 20 first-team appearances, plus another pounds 5,000 if he wins a full cap. Smith is avilable for tomorrow's friendly against Swinton.

The former Great Britain stand-off and captain Garry Schofield will turn out for the side he now coaches, Huddersfield, in his own testimonial at Leeds. Leeds' Test prop Barrie McDermott will play his first game for six months after recovering from a badly broken ankle.

Robbie McCormack, the Australian hooker, will make his Wigan debut in their friendly at Leigh. John Monie is fielding two teams of roughly equal strength tomorrow, with the other playing Whitehaven behind closed doors at Central Park, wher thelocal council has insisted the capacity will be reduced to 17,000 this season.

Warrington will give first outings to their new signings - Jason Roach, Mike Eagar, Adam Doyle, Danny Whittle and Chris Morley - in their match for Andy Burgess' testimonial at Salford. Salford also field an array of newcomers, including Martin Crompton, Josh White and Joe Faimalo.

Fears that Warrington's Great Britain tour centre, Jon Roper, will need a knee reconstruction have been allayed. Roper's injury is not as bad as first thought and he could be back in time for the Challenge Cup in three weeks' time.

The chief executive of Super League Europe, Colin Myler, has resigned from the joint policy board which is intended to oversee the game's strategy.

- Dave Hadfield