Kear to stay on at Wakefield after promising start

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John Kear is to remain as coach of Wakefield next season, even if he fails to keep them in Super League. Kear was appointed last month for the rest of this season, since when he has won two of his first three games.

Wakefield are still threatened by relegation, but the club's chief executive, Steve Ferres, said: "Working with John has convinced myself and the board that he is the correct man."

Kear says he is enjoying the struggle more than he suspected and that has made him keen to stay on, despite offers from rugby union. "I consider myself a Super League coach and will give all my best endeavours to ensure that I'm still a Super League coach next year," he said. "But if we have to take a step back to take two steps forward, so be it. The infrastructure is right for progress here."

Kear, who has been told that he can keep a full-time squad even if the Wildcats go down, takes them to St Helens tonight. "Saints have players who have played in internationals and major finals and know what's required," he said.

At Wigan, the coach, Brian Noble, and his key signing, Stuart Fielden, face Bradford for the first time since leaving Odsal. "I gave 31 years to Bradford and I'm proud of what I achieved as a player and coach," Noble said. "But my challenges are now here at Wigan."

Brett Dallas replaces the retired Kris Radlinski in the Warriors' squad.