Heighington pledges England allegiance


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The Independent Online

The England team is to gain a further Australian accent with the inclusion of the Sydney-born Chris Heighington in the squad preparing for the Four Nations this autumn. The 28-year old Wests Tigers back-rower qualifies through his father, who was born in County Durham.

"Playing for England is something that has been on my mind for a good few years now and if I get the chance I'll be very proud," said Heighington, whose conversion follows the Brisbane Broncos' Yorkshire-born centre, Jack Reed, opting to play for England. Melbourne's Gareth Widdop, originally from Halifax, is already part of Steve McNamara's set-up while the English forwards, Gareth Ellis, Sam Burgess and, from next season, James Graham, all play in the NRL.

Hull, knocked out of the Super League play-offs by Leeds on Sunday, have confirmed that six of their players will not be with them next season. Wakefield have announced the signing of the utility player, Danny Washbrook, on a three-year contract and the experienced prop, Ewan Dowes, is expected to follow. Epalahame Lauaki is to join Wigan and Cameron Phelps is looking for a new club after being told he is not being retained. Sean Long and Craig Fitzgibbon have already announced that they are retiring.

Neighbours Hull KR are expected to name Kevin Moore as their new coach this week. The former Halifax player, who was sacked by the Canterbury Bulldogs in mid-season, will succeed Justin Morgan, who is leaving after six years.