Lack of practice a big problem

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The Independent Online

Preparations for the coming season have been badly disrupted by the heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures across the north of England. Clubs are facing the prospect of starting their Super League campaigns with only one friendly match under their belts – and that's if they are lucky.

Salford are a typical example, with Tuesday night's game at Leigh called off and the planned game against Swinton already postponed. "I've been in this country for 17 years and I've never experienced anything like it," said the club's director of rugby, Steve Simms.

The Rugby League has made a virtue of necessity by organising a Man of Snow competition, for supporters building snowmen in club regalia.