Cream of youth to milk deal

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The Independent Online
A game long associated with beer'n'fags will have 15 million advertising sites on a product with healthier connotations this season, writes Dave Hadfield. Dairy Crest, one of the country's leading milk suppliers, will put a new Super League brand of the white stuff on to the shelves of more than 450 supermarkets this month. Better still, it's semi-skimmed.

The first licensing deal to carry the Super League logo was launched in Bradford yesterday and, apart from pounds 250,000 worth of promotion on litre cartons, the game stands to gain pounds 150,000 for youth development if the brand takes off as Dairy Crest believes it will.

The Rugby League's director of marketing, Mark Newton, said: "This shows how far the game has come in 12 months. We are increasingly attracting companies of this sort of profile."

Halifax are to open talks with their missing winger, Mark Preston, about a possible return to the game. The former Wigan player has not turned out for Halifax for almost a year, following his decision not to become a full-time professional.

Halifax are also talking to another former Wigan player, Kelvin Skerrett, and hoping to sign him in time to play against his old club on Sunday.