Bayfield rejects pounds 50,000 transfer bid

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
Rugby union has taken a step nearer a true transfer market, writes David Llewellyn. Unfortunately for First Division Harlequins their reported pounds 50,000 offer was not enough to tempt the England lock Martin Bayfield to leave Northampton, the Second Division leaders.

Bayfield, 28, who has just begun a five-year sabbatical from Bedfordshire police in order to become a professional rugby player, said: "I have no desire to leave. Northampton have got their act together, they are pro- active in the switch to professionalism, so there is no need for players to go."

Wasps have ignored a chance to give Damian Hopley some experience of wing play in preparation for his appearance in that position for England against South Africa on 18 November. Wasps have dropped Phil Hopley for the home match against West Hartlepool, but have decided to keep his brother, Damian, in the centre.

Western Samoa, who have been seriously hit by defections to rugby league, arrived yesterday for their 12-match tour of Scotland and England. Their coach, Bryan Williams, the former New Zealand wing, said: "We have a number of young talented players coming through and I expect some of them to make an impact."

The Jed-Forest scrum-half Gary Armstrong, who has signed registration forms with Newcastle, has been recalled to captain Scotland A against the Samoans at Hawick on 12 November.

n Alun Pask, a Wales captain in the 1960s who won 26 caps, has died in a fire at his home in Blackwood, Gwent. He was 58.

Obituary, page 22

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