Cunningham takes pay cut in agreeing new deal at St Helens

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The Independent Online

Keiron Cunningham has taken a pay cut to sign a new, two-year deal with his only professional club, St Helens.

Keiron Cunningham has taken a pay cut to sign a new, two-year deal with his only professional club, St Helens.

The Great Britain hooker has agreed a contract extension that will keep him at Knowsley Road until the end of the 2007 season, ending speculation that he could join one of their Super League rivals.

"The salary cap means I've had to accept a pay cut, but I was willing to do this as we have to keep this young, talented side together,'' Cunningham said. "I've won everything with Saints and now I want to win it all over again.''

Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus, welcomed Cunningham's decision to stay. "He has yet again shown his total loyalty to his hometown team,'' he said.

Leeds' prolific half-back Danny McGuire has suffered a new injury blow with a broken hand that will keep him out for a month. McGuire missed the first five matches of the season recovering from groin surgery. His latest injury came during Leeds' win over Wigan last Friday.

Wigan have denied reports that they have signed the former Hull second-rower Richard Fletcher. Fletcher was released by Hull at the end of last season, after an injury-ravaged six years at the club during which he started 11 games.

He has been playing in Brisbane for Eastern Suburbs, who announced yesterday that he was leaving to take up a contract offer from Wigan. The Warriors are looking for reinforcements for their pack, following the loss of Andy Farrell to rugby union and Gareth Hock and Sean O'Loughlin with injury for the rest of the season.

The St Helens coach, Ian Millward, has been fined £100 for breaching the technical area regulations. Dave Woods, the Castleford coach, has been given a written caution for swearing at a match official.

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