Edmondson passes trial to win new deal

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Mark Edmondson, St Helens' young prop, has been rewarded for his improved form this season with a new, two-year contract.

Edmondson was one of the forwards who could have become surplus to requirements at Knowsley Road, but he has proved his worth to his coach, Ian Millward. "We put the onus on him to win a new deal through his performances and we're satisfied that he's achieved that," Millward said.

Dale Laughton, the former Great Britain prop, is to make a comeback for Sheffield Eagles, the club with which he won the Challenge Cup in 1998. Laughton later moved to Huddersfield, but retired last year after struggling through a season with Warrington because of a persistent back injury. He will return to the fray against Hunslet on Sunday.

Widnes' success in having a second player, Jules O'Neill, removed from their overseas quota because of his English mother could mean that they step up their interest in the Australian pair Willie Peters and Mark Riddell.

Des Hasler, the former Hull player, has been appointed coach of the Australian club Manly for next season. He replaces Peter Sharp.