Dismissal may signal end of road for Monie

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The Independent Online

London Broncos have dismissed John Monie, the highest-profile coach in their history, with three games of his first season still to play.

London Broncos have dismissed John Monie, the highest-profile coach in their history, with three games of his first season still to play.

Monie joined the Broncos at the start of this season, in their biggest declaration yet that they meant business in the capital.

But the campaign has been a disaster, with London one place off the bottom of Super League after only one win in the last three months.

The Broncos have made some impressive signings for next season, but have decided not to take up the option of a second year on Monie's contract.

That will almost certainly mark the end of the coaching career of the Australian, who led Parramatta to Grand Final victory before guiding Wigan to every major trophy in each year in charge of them in the late 80s and early 90s.

His time at the Auckland Warriors ended in dismissal, however, as did his return to Wigan, but not before he had won the Super League Grand Final with them in 1998.

He was replaced midway through the 1999 season by Andy Goodway, but was persuaded back into the game by London, although not with the result either party would have hoped for.

The club's chief executive, Tony Rea, will take over the coaching for the last three games, with past experience pointing to another Australian appointment for 2001.

The England captain, Andy Farrell, has defended Australia's decision to leave two of his team-mates at Wigan next season, out of their squad for the World Cup.

Matthew Johns and David Furner, have been left out of the Australian squad, along with current Test hooker, Jason Hetherington, and Jim Dimock, who are both joining London.

"Obviously they have left out fantastic players, but Australia always do this," said Farrell, who will lead England in the tournament opener against Australia at Twickenham on 28 October.

"You look at the players they leave out and think they must be weaker, but that is never the case."

Farrell paid particular tribute to Nathan Hindmarch, the young Parramatta second-rower whose form has seen him preferred to Furner. "He's been playing fantastically well and, from what I've seen, he deserves to be in," he said. "Australia have made a point of not picking players who are coming to play here. You can't knock them, because they always find the players to do the job."

Farrell was speaking at the launch of Emirates as the official airline of the tournament. Apart from flying in nine of the 16 competing nations, Emirates will sponsor a try of the match award in each of the 31 games, culminating in a £1,500 prize for the try of the tournament.

Wes Davies with whom Farrell played in the nail-biting last minute victory over Bradford on Saturday, has been rewarded with a new three-year contract at Wigan.

Widnes have signed Ian Watson from Swinton and Steve Holgate from Halifax for next season, on one-year contracts.