Lowes aims for Warrington top job

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Warrington's caretaker coach, James Lowes, said yesterday that he wants the job on a permanent basis. Lowes was asked to take over temporarily after the departure of Paul Cullen last week and takes the Wolves into a game for the first time at Harlequins this Sunday.

He spelled out yesterday for the first time that he sees himself as more than a stopgap solution and wants to be the long-term successor.

"You'd be daft not too, with the quality of play at the club," said Lowes, he was briefly once in joint charge at Salford. There's always stuff to learn, but I feel ready now for this challenge."

Lowes has been given no indication of how long he has to stake a claim, or whether the club is talking to any alternative appointees. "I'm not overly sure what's in their minds," he said. "I need to sit down with the board and have a good chat with them next week."

Lowes knows that the best argument in his favour would be a dramatic improvement in Warrington's results. "We just need to win a couple of games," he said.

The Warrington captain, Adrian Morley, admitted that the players took a lot of the blame for Cullen's exit.

"The players need to perform to the maximum every weekend and we've not done that, so we have to take some sort of responsibility," he said.

The other club without a coach, Huddersfield, insisted that they are not going to be rushed into making an appointment following the sacking of Jon Sharp.

The Giant's chairman, Ken Davy, said that the club was already spoilt for choice by the number of early applications for the job.

"We don't expect to make any decision in the near future, particularly because it's clear that we will have no shortage of top-class applicants," he said.

"Within a couple of hours of the news of Jon's departure, we had received interest from quality individuals both here and in Australia. It clearly shows how highly our club is regarded in the Rugby League world. Now it's important we choose the right person to take us forward."

Two Australians who are out of contract at the end of this season, Canterbury's Steve Folkes and Nathan Brown of St George-Illawarra, can be expected to join the British candidates for the job.

Huddersfield do not play until they face Wakefield on the 15th June, because Wigan, against whom they were due to play this weekend, are unable to use the JJB Stadium following the relaying of its troublesome pitch. That game has now been rearranged for the 25th July, the Friday night before the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium is to stage a semi for the first time when Hull meet Wakefield there on the 27 July. The other semi-final, between Leeds and St Helen's is at Huddersfield the previous day.