Clarke rails at treatment of 'amateur' British team

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The Independent Online

The departing Great Britain coach, Phil Clarke, has accused the Rugby League and Super League clubs of lacking commitment to the success of the national team.

Clarke quit this week after five years in the job, despairing of closing the gap on Australia and New Zealand. "We're no closer than we were 15 years ago," he said last night. "I would question the interest from the RFL and the interest from the clubs."

Clarke complained about the lack of time and resources allocated to the Great Britain team. He said: "We're almost amateur in our preparation compared to some Super League teams. Since we lost the fourth Test at the KC Stadium we haven't had a single meeting for Great Britain. So how do we possibly get better?"

Wigan have signed a former St Helens forward, Tim Jonkers, on a one-month loan from Salford to bolster their injury-hit pack, following their failure to bring in Keith Mason.

Ian Millward, who coached Jonkers at St Helens, has put the forward straight into the Wigan squad for the match at Bradford tomorrow.

The Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock is back for Leeds after a knee injury for Saturday's game at Harlequins, whose own injury toll is so severe that they may have to play three newcomers. Duncan James, a scrum-half from their rugby union landlords, is in the squad, along with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Michael Worrincy.

Mick Cassidy, of Widnes, and Paul Rowley, of Leigh, have both been suspended for one match for offences in their Northern Rail Cup game earlier this month.