Dewsbury wait on merger calls

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The Independent Online

Dewsbury, battling for the right to play in Super League next season, have issued an invitation to Wakefield, or any other interested club, to talk to them about a merger.

Dewsbury, battling for the right to play in Super League next season, have issued an invitation to Wakefield, or any other interested club, to talk to them about a merger.

The Dewsbury chairman, Bob McDermott, says that the only thing discussed so far with Trinity has been using Belle Vue as a temporary home, should they need one next year. "We haven't talked about merger, but it makes a lot of sense," said McDermott. "There are too many clubs within a small area around here and we are willing to talk to anyone."

Dewsbury's promotion to Super League depends on bringing their Ram Stadium capacity up to 10,000, while Wakefield, promoted two years ago, are in the throes of a financial crisis.

Leeds and Hull, who meet at Headingley tonight, both have their eyes on upward mobility. Leeds, boosted by their win at Bradford last week, have a chance to make the top three and the advantages that confers, while their visitors are now just three points behind Castleford and a play-off place.

"We will keep pushing to consolidate fourth place, and if as a result third should come along then great," said the Leeds coach, Dean Lance, who, with Kevin Sinfield still injured, keeps the same 17 that won at Odsal. That means an appearance against his first club for the oldest player in Super League, Paul Sterling, who celebrated his 36th birthday this week. Hull will also be unchanged.

McRae, who coached the Gateshead Thunder in their one season before the merger with Hull, has welcomed the new Gateshead club's inclusion in the Northern Ford Premiership next season. "I'm delighted for the people who have worked so hard there and I hope it can be really successful," he said.

The former Great Britain forward Lee Crooks has been appointed the new coach of the NFP side York.

Heavy rain has prevented Halifax from increasing capacity at The Shay in time for the visit of Bradford on Sunday evening. The club had hoped to make another 1500 tickets available, but the weather has held up reconstruction work.

Phil Gould is favourite to take over from Wayne Pearce as coach of the Wests Tigers in Australia. Inevitably, the name of David Waite, the former St George-Illawarra coach who has taken on a four-month consultancy with the British Rugby League, has been mentioned but yesterday he denied being interested.

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