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Kear remains at Wakefield, say Wildcats

Wakefield have dismissed suggestions that their coach, John Kear, could leave to take charge of England. Kear has been linked with the job since Tony Smith confirmed that he would not seek to extend his contract after last season's Four Nations tournament.

The latest variation has Kear taking the reins along with the Salford coach, Shaun McRae, although sources at the Rugby League have unofficially rubbished that rumour, as have Wakefield, the club Kear coached to fifth place – their best performance in Super League – last season. "John Kear has two years of his contract remaining with the club and there has not been any approach for him to take a job away from Wakefield," a statement from the club said. Kear has not ruled himself out, but the problem would be that the RFL is committed to making a full-time appointment.

Kear has already held the England post, steering them to the semi-finals of the 2000 World Cup, but he has added considerably to his CV since. Among the feathers in his cap are twice leading underdogs – Sheffield and Hull – to shock victories in the Challenge Cup final.

Others who have been linked with the national role include the Leeds assistant coach, Francis Cummins, and Wayne Bennett, who helped New Zealand to win the World Cup in 2008.