Hanley may make shock return at Doncaster

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Ellery Hanley, one of the truly legendary figures of the modern era, could be back in the game today as the new coach of humble Doncaster. The club refused to confirm or deny yesterday that Hanley was among the applicants for the vacancy created by John Stankevitch's sudden resignation last month to join Widnes.

"The board does not want to confirm any names, as that could be disrespectful to some other very high-calibre applicants," they said of their short-list. That list is also understood to include Karl Harrison, sacked by Salford midway through last season, but still highly regarded within the game.

But the real eye-opener would be the reappearance of Hanley, who has not worked in league since an ill-fated stint as a consultant with Castleford in 2004. Before that, he was in charge of Great Britain in 1994 and led St Helens to the Super League title in 1999 a successful but stormy season which proved to be his first and last at Knowsley Road.

His playing career with Bradford, Wigan and Leeds is close to incomparable and he was recently voted Great Britain's best-ever player.

Doncaster ply their trade at a slightly lower level. They were relegated to National League Two at the end of last season after being docked six points for going into administration.

"Some of the applicants are bigger than we are," said a club spokesman. "That's why we're handling it so carefully."