Halifax lead call for change

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The Independent Online

National league clubs will today discuss doing away with play-offs and Grand Finals as a means of deciding promotion. A meeting in Halifax will be asked by that town's club, relegated from Super League last season, to revert to a first-past-the-post system.

The Halifax chairman, Bob Sweeney, believes the present system is unfair and that the end-of-season games would retain their popularity, even if promotion was not at stake.

"I can't see that it would affect the popularity of the Final if it was marketed properly," he said.

The Rugby League would be strongly against a change and even Sweeney admits that it would be too late to bring it in for the 2004 season.

The League has satisfied itself that Adrian Morley's drink-driving offence was not committed during this autumn's Ashes series, which was, with splendid irony, sponsored by the Government's "Think!" road safety campaign. The Great Britain forward was arrested on 13 December, three weeks after the third Test.

St Helens will unveil two Samoan recruits today, but have denied that the World Cup winger, Sailosi Tagicakibau, is one of them.

Tagicakibau, who scored two tries in four appearances in the tournament, has been playing rugby union for Manchester but, despite his presence in the country, Saints say he is not their man.

The club says they have signed a winger and a forward, against opposition from rugby union clubs in both hemispheres. As Pacific Islanders, neither player will count on Saints' overseas quota.

Wakefield are another club closing in on a Samoan. Albert Talipeau was a member of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup squad and has played for the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League.

The hooker has been out of action for a year following a broken leg, but Trinity hope to complete a deal with him this week.

The new Chorley Lynx coach, Mark Lee, has signed Daryl Lacey, who has been released by Oldham. Lacey was the prodigy who signed for Wigan in a blaze off publicity as a 12-year-old, but his career has been dogged by injury.

The recently formed West Indies Rugby League has set its sights on fielding a team in an inaugural international in London in October. The WIRL, which plans to attract players from rugby union as well as established league players of Caribbean descent, is asking for suggestions for a nickname for the side.

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