Rotherham's rise to live TV status

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The Independent Football

Rotherham will receive a late Christmas present when they appear on live television for the first time in their history. The Clifton Lane club completed a momentous rise through the league structure when they defeated Bedford in a play-off last season.

Rotherham will receive a late Christmas present when they appear on live television for the first time in their history. The Clifton Lane club completed a momentous rise through the league structure when they defeated Bedford in a play-off last season.

Rotherham open their Zurich Premiership campaign with a home game against Bristol on 20 August, followed by a trip south to face Harlequins. And their screen debut will come on 30 December when they travel to the Madejski Stadium to face London Irish.

In Sydney, the Wallaby fullback Matthew Burke made a successful return to representative rugby yesterday, scoring 28 points for the ACT Presidents XV against a touring Japanese side. Playing on the wing, Burke scored two tries and kicked nine conversions to help his side to a 73-38 victory over Japan West.

Burke has not played for Australia since the 1999 World Cup final victory over France after suffering injury during this year's Super 12 series. He began his comeback in the New South Wales club competition this month but was not considered for tomorrow's Tri-Nations Test with South Africa at Sydney's Olympic Stadium. He hopes to resume his Test career in Australia's next Tri-Nations match against the All Blacks in Wellington on 5 August.

Australia's international winger Ben Tune has decided to stay with the Wallabies until the 2003 World Cup. Tune, who scored a try in last year's World Cup final win over France, was approached by a number of English and French clubs after refusing to re-sign with the Wallabies when his current contract expires at the end of the season. The 23-year-old was reportedly unhappy that the Australian Rugby Union, concerned about his chronic knee problems, had reduced his sign-on fee but increased his Test-match payments.

The ARU also said the 23-year-old Queensland stand-off Elton Flatley has re-signed for another three seasons, ending speculation that he might join the growing Wallaby exodus.

The Bristol coach Dean Ryan has named a 30-man squad for a week-long training camp in New Orleans, where they will play a challenge match against Wasps. Ryan's close- season signings - Ben Sturnham, Leigh Davies, Neil McCarthy and Kris Fullman - will make the trip to the United States, which begins on Monday.

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