Broncos' coach wields the axe

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The London Broncos coach, Tony Currie, has sacked three of the club's Australian players for missing a training session last week, writes Dave Hadfield.

The centres Kieran Meyer and Danny Smith, as well as the forward, Shaun Keating, were given their cards yesterday after being dropped against Workington last Sunday.

''I have given them two weeks' notice to allow them to sort their lives out,'' Currie said. ''They are free to go to any club without a transfer fee and there are some clubs already interested.''

Currie, a former Australian international, took his hard line with the players after previously dropping two others for arriving late at a training session. ''They have to realise they are here to play and that they have certain responsibilities,'' he said.

London have made a promising start in the European Super League, winning three of their first five matches, but Currie is earning a reputation as a strict disciplinarian by demanding a more professional attitude.

Eric Hughes, sacked as coach of tomorrow's Wembley finalists, St Helens, in January, has a new job as coach of Second Division Leigh. Hughes succeeds Ian Lucas, who was sacked on Monday after his side had lost four of their first five matches.

The former Great Britain international, who has also coached Widnes and Rochdale Hornets, has been given a three and a half year contract.

The former Workington coach Kurt Sorensen, who was also in the running for the Leigh job, is considering an offer to take over at Barrow.

The League and the BBC have agreed a new three-year deal worth a reputed pounds 3m for live coverage of the Challenge Cup, starting next season.

The two Oldham players cited for fouls in last week's match at Castleford have been suspended, Scott Ranson for three matches and Jason Temu for two.

The Castleford centre Grant Anderson, sent off in the same game for a high tackle on Ranson, has been suspended for three matches and fined pounds 150.

Leeds' Kiwi forward George Mann has had his three-game ban - for a late and high tackle against Oldham two weeks ago - reduced to two on appeal. But the Hull winger Leigh Deakin has failed in his appeal against an eight- match ban imposed for punching in the game against Keighley Cougars on Easter Monday.

Nathan Picchi, the Leeds loose forward, who dislocated a shoulder on his debut last Sunday, is likely to be out for the rest of the season.