Australia coach has hospital test after chest pain

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The Independent Online

Australia's coach, Chris Anderson was in hospital last night after complaining of chest pains while exercising at a gymnasium.

The 48-year-old Anderson was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he underwent tests. Although he was detained overnight as a precaution, the pains were not diagnosed as symptomatic of a life-threatening condition. It was expected that he would be able to attend training with the Kangaroos today.

In a statement, the tourists said: "Australia coach Chris Anderson experienced chest pains whilst exercising at a gym. Also at the gym was team doctor Roy Saunders, who advised that he be taken to hospital for precautionary assessment."

The news comes six weeks after the Liverpool manager, Gérard Houllier, was rushed to hospital with chest pains and subsequently underwent an 11-hour heart operation.

Anderson, a former player with Widnes, Hull KR and Halifax, whom he also later coached, has been in charge of the Kangaroos for the last three years and guided them to World Cup victory 12 months ago. He was in charge of the Melbourne Storm when they won the National Rugby League Premiership in 1999 and the World Club Challenge, against St Helens.

Meanwhile, the Great Britain captain, Andy Farrell, stepped into the row over the choice of referee for the Ashes decider by at Wigan this Saturday, urging the Rugby Football League to stand firm against the Australians' preference for Bill Harrigan.

The teams have asked the International Federation to intervene after two days of intensive negotiations over the choice of Saturday's man in the middle.

The Kangaroos want to retain Harrigan, who was in charge of their 40-12 win at Bolton last Saturday, while Britain have offered the tourists a choice of three Super League officials.

"You would like it to be sorted out by now," Farrell said. "I think our top referees are as good as any they've got over there. I don't see why it should be an Australian ref."

Wigan's Bob Connolly, who was in charge when Britain won the first Test, was criticised by the Aussies for his liberal interpretation of the 10-metre rule.

Great Britain have been deprived of one of the few realistic options for changing their team. Michael Withers, the Australian-born utility back controversially called up for the series, but ignored for the first two Tests, aggravated a groin injury in training and has been ruled out of the third and deciding match.

"It would have been impossible for me to play in the third Test," the Bradford player said. "The injury has just flared up again."

Australia have delayed naming their side until tomorrow because of fitness doubts over Ben Kennedy (broken left hand) and Tuqiri (knee). Winger Adam MacDougall (ankle) and prop Jason Ryles (dead leg) missed training yesterday, but are expected to be fit.