Dragons hoard wealth of applications for new coach

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The Independent Online

The Catalan Dragons have had a wealth of applications for their vacant coaching job, but do not expect to have a new man in charge for the start of their inaugural Super League season in February.

The new French club sacked Steve Deakin earlier this month, but their chief executive, Grant Mayor, says that they will have a wide range of options from which to select his successor.

"We are at the stage where people are ringing to ask us about the job," he said. "They are primarily Australian. There is a lot of interest there, some of it from people who already have high-profile jobs.

"We aren't surprised, but we are very, very happy to see that people still believe that the opportunity in France is a good one."

The Catalans resume their pre-season training next Monday, with their biggest signing, Stacey Jones, due to return from New Zealand a week later.

They play their opening game, at home to Wigan, on 11 February. The existing coaching team of David Waite, Matt Adamson and Paul Donkin are expected still to be in charge for that. "But we expect to appoint a new head coach by early March," Mayor said.

Leeds are waiting for the result of a scan on the shoulder of their new Australian signing, Mark O'Neill. The former Wests Tigers captain lasted just five minutes of his Rhinos debut, the 42-18 victory over Wakefield on Boxing Day. "We are waiting for more information, but it doesn't seem as serious as we feared," said a spokesman.

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