ARL seek injunction to stop Global League

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The Independent Online
The Australian Rugby League is going back to court today to seek injunctions to stop Maurice Lindsay and 311 Super League-aligned players setting up their own competition.

Lindsay, the chief executive of the British Rugby League and of Super League in Europe, announced a 10-team Global League earlier this week, claiming that it had nothing to do with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which has been barred from starting its Australian Super League before the year 2000.

Global League is scheduled to kick off next weekend, but the ARL will argue strongly that it is merely a back-door method of setting up Super League and as such should be blocked.

The arguments, which are expected to spill over into next week when the ARL seeks further orders against News Corp, are likely to detain Lindsay in Australia, despite the fact that the European Super League starts next Friday.

Meanwhile, only four of the planned 10 games in the delayed first round of the ARL's Optus Cup will go ahead this weekend.

The eight clubs which tried to leave and set up Super League have been ordered by the courts to return to the ARL, but seven of them say that they cannot field teams while their players are refusing to play in the ARL's competition.

The eighth, the Auckland Warriors, offered to field a side, but as they were due to play one of the other Super League clubs, the Brisbane Broncos, their availability was academic.

Brisbane, Canberra, Canterbury, Cronulla, North Queensland, Penrith and the Western Reds have all forfeited their matches.

The clubs said in a statement that they regretted taking that action, but that they had no choice "as the players had again stated that they did not wish to play for the clubs in the ARL competition''.

The Bradford Bulls coach, Brian Smith, is confident that both Graeme Bradley and Bernard Dwyer will be fit for their Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds at Huddersfield tomorrow.

The two players, who have been included in a 16-man squad, will have fitness tests today, although Smith might delay naming his team until shortly before kick-off.

Leeds are due to name their side today with all the indications that George Mann, normally a second-rower, will play stand-off. The Headingley side are bidding for a hat-trick of Wembley appearances this year, having lost there to Wigan in each of the past two seasons.

The League is insisting that the future of the Challenge Cup is not in doubt after this season and that negotiations with the BBC are proceeding.

Paris St-Germain, France's representatives in the European Super League, have named the Test centre Pierre Chamorin as their captain, ahead of the more fancied candidate, Patrick Entat.

Two former Sheffield players, Laurent Lucchese and Frederic Banquet, are in the Paris side for the opening Super League game against their old club. Also included are former Polish rugby union captain Gregory Kacala, and two Australians, Todd Brown and Jason Sands.

The former Salford and Widnes winger, Adrian Hadley, is the latest player to decide on a return to rugby union. Hadley has signed to play for Sale, but unlike his fellow Welsh international John Devereux, will not maintain a parallel league career.