McClennan happy to hand versatile Ablett four-year Leeds deal

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Leeds have rewarded Carl Ablett for his versatility by giving him a new, four-year contract.

The Rhinos have used the 24-year-old local product primarily at centre and in the back row. "He is a very athletic and skilful player and he has even played at stand-off for us," said the Leeds coach, Brian McClennan. "Last year we were able to play him in his preferred position of second-row and I think he has just got better and better."

Hull KR have begun contract talks with their Australian second-rower, Ben Galea, according to the player's agent. Galea, who is about to embark on the final season of a three-year contract, was voted into the Super League Dream Team after an outstanding 2009.

Harlequins' attempts to play a pre-season friendly have been frustrated by Crusaders' inability to travel from North Wales for the match that was due to be staged at Rosslyn Park tomorrow.

James Child has become Super League's seventh and youngest designated referee. Unlike his colleagues, the 26-year-old from Dewsbury will not be full-time.