Confusion surroundsMiddlesex Sevens

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

's participation in the Middlesex Sevens is under threat because of the Rugby Football Union's backlash against professionalism.

The League had been due to decide this week which of its clubs, probably Wigan or St Helens, would take up an invitation to the event in May.

"But we have now written to the organisers asking them to clarify the situation, in view of the meeting at the weekend," the League's spokesman, Paul Harrison, said.

It could be that a club from the other code will no longer be wanted at the Sevens now that union's acceptance of professionalism is in doubt, the League believes.

There is also a growing feeling in League circles that a weekend of the much-vaunted new Super League should not be disrupted for the sake of a tournament in another sport.

Sale, who have failed to sign Salford's captain, David Young, have had talks with Widnes about borrowing several of their players, including another Welshman, John Devereux.

Widnes say that they have no objections to loan arrangements and would be interested in taking Sale players on a similar, short-term basis.

In another cross-code development, Leeds rugby league and rugby union clubs have scheduled a joint announcement for 30 January. Everything points to the 15-a-side operation becoming the winter tenants of Headingley, but the cross-pollination may go beyond that, with the Leeds rugby league captain, Garry Schofield, among the players interested in having a crack at the other code.

The Silk Cut Challenge Cup fourth-round tie between Castleford and St Helens will be televised on 27 January. The other ties will be the following day, with the possible exception of West Hull. The amateurs' match against York may be switched to the Friday or Saturday to allow them to play at Hull's Boulevard ground.

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