National League looks to Sky after Eurosport impasse

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The Independent Online

Negotiations for the satellite broadcaster British Eurosport to show National League matches on Thursday nights have ended.

The channel said talks aimed at giving the game below Super League a higher profile had reached "an impasse". The Rugby Football League is now seeking an expansion of Sky's coverage. Sky currently shows the National League Grand Finals and the final of the Northern Rail Cup.

Lee Radford has been appointed captain of Hull, succeeding the New Zealander Richard Swain, who stood down after last season's Super League Grand Final. Radford, who joined his hometown club from Bradford last season, has been preferred by Peter Sharp to other candidates like Paul Cooke and Richard Horne and is Hull's first British captain since 1999.

Harlequins have appointed a Cumbrian, Rob Purdham, to take over the captaincy from an Australian. Mark McLinden will miss the start of the season after a back operation. Quins will also be without full-back Zeb Luisi, who severed tendons in his hand while helping his team-mate Solomon Haumono to pack his bags. Luisi cut his hand on some glass.

Haumono has left to pursue a career in boxing and Quins will replace him and Sione Faumuina, who has left for the North Queensland Cowboys before playing a game.