Bell's scouting trip off

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

Leeds, who have made three of their most experienced players available for transfer after a dismal season, have told their coach, Dean Bell, that he cannot go on a planned scouting trip to Australia for replacements, writes Dave Hadfield.

The club yesterday put on the transfer list the New Zealanders Dean Clark and George Mann, plus the former Great Britain full-back Alan Tait.

Bell's projected trip to Australia has been put on hold by the board at Headingley. "They don't want any deals done whilst there are still negotiations over the club's future," Bell said. "We are going to need players, but if there are things happening which are in the club's best interests, then I have to be happy about that."

The Conrad leisure group are involved in talks which could see them take control at the club, which has admitted to lacking funds for the team strengthening which is obviously necessary unless there is substantial outside investment.

Paul Sculthorpe of Warrington and the London Broncos' Paul Gill are the only two players to break a Wigan-St Helens monopoly in the Stones Super League "Dream Team" selected on the basis of form this season.

Sculthorpe is, at 18, the youngest member of the Great Britain squad which leaves for the southern hemisphere next month, while, at the other end of the scale, Gill is a 31-year-old back-row forward who has spent most of his career in his native Australia without winning representative honours.

"This selection is a big thing for me, a real surprise and a mark of recognition for what we have achieved in London," Gill said.

The reports a rush for tickets for the Premiership final at Old Trafford, for which London will qualify if they beat St Helens on Sunday. More than 10,000 have been sold before the finalists on 8 September are known.

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