Kear set for Wakefield role

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The Independent Online

John Kear is poised to take over as coach and try to save Wakefield's Super League existence following the departure of Tony Smith.

Smith left the club by mutual consent after their defeat at Huddersfield on Sunday. The Wildcats became clear favourites for relegation following a 26-20 defeat during which they had led 20-0.

"He came to me and said that we needed to change something," said Wakefield's chief executive, Steve Ferres. "It was either changing the coach or changing the players and it's obviously difficult to change the playing staff."

It looks increasingly likely that Smith's successor will be Kear, who was sacked from his job at Hull earlier this season. Ferres will take charge of training himself until an appointment is made. Kear would be unlikely to commit himself beyond the end of this season. "But it would be fair to say that I'm interested," he said.

Wakefield are still hoping to bring in the former Cronulla hooker Tevita Latu for the rest of the season, provided he can delay a community service order imposed for breaking a woman's nose in Sydney.

Clinton Toopi will join Leeds for the latter stages of this season. The Kiwi Test back has already agreed a three-year contract to start next season, but the New Zealand Warriors have released him early.

The former St Helens prop Mark Edmondson is to join Salford next season on a two-year contract. Edmondson is being released by the Sydney Roosters.

The Salford captain, Malcolm Alker, has been cleared of serious ankle damage and will join the Great Britain squad for training tomorrow.

The New Zealand Test forward Awen Guttenbeil is to leave the New Zealand Warriors at the end of this season and has agreed a two-year deal at Castleford.