Deakin takes over at Hornets

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The Independent Online

Steve Deakin has beenappointed coach to Rochdale Hornets in succession to the Australian Steve Linnane, who resigned from the club to become the assistant to Halifax's player-coach, Gary Mercer.

Steve Deakin has beenappointed coach to Rochdale Hornets in succession to the Australian Steve Linnane, who resigned from the club to become the assistant to Halifax's player-coach, Gary Mercer.

The Oldham-born Deakin, 45, who is the younger brother of Warrington's chief executive, Peter Deakin, will continue as assistant coach to Karl Harrison at Keighley until the end of the play-offs. Deakin, who was assistant coach to John Kear when Sheffield Eagles won the 1998 Challenge Cup at Wembley, has been given a two-year contract.

The former New Zealand international Tawera Nikau's ever-present record with Warrington will be on the line at tomorrow's meeting ofdisciplinary bosses.

The veteran loose forward, who has not missed a match since his close-season move from Melbourne Storm, has been referred to the disciplinary committee by the Rugby League executive on a charge of striking. Nikau was involved in a bout of fisticuffs during Warrington's 26-4 Super League defeat at Wigan on Sunday night.

The referee, Steve Presley, sent Andrew Gee, of Warrington, and Wigan's Mick Cassidy to the sin-bin and placed the incident on report, although only Nikau has been referred.

Nikau's Wolves team-mate Jerome Guisset was yesterday sent for a medical check after being carried from the field in a neck brace near the end of yesterday's match. However, the French international was on his feet after the game and was able to travel back with the team.

Wakefield's back-row forward Warren Jowitt will appear at today's disciplinary hearing after being referred by the League's executive on a charge of striking during the Wildcats' 27-22 win at London.

Eric Hughes has accepted an out-of-court settlement from Wigan Warriors following his dismissal as head coach almost three years ago. Hughes had sued Wigan for unfair dismissal and the case was due to be heard in court yesterday before an agreement was reached. Hughes - who is now football director at Super League rivals St Helens - has been awarded costs.

The Rugby League is to stagger kick-off times for next Sunday's Northern Ford Premiership semi-finals to enable Yorkshire Television to record both matches. Dewsbury will play Keighley at the Ram Stadium at 1.30pm. Leigh take on Oldham at Hilton Park at 5pm, with the winners meeting in the Grand Final at Bury on 29 July.

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