New Zealand coach given all-clear to fill St Helens vacancy

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The Independent Online

St Helens plan to confirm Daniel Anderson as their new coach this week and could have him in place for Saturday's match at Widnes.

The New Zealand Test coach has emerged as the man Saints want to replace the sacked Ian Millward and the New Zealand Rugby League has released him from the remainder of the last year of his contract, saying that it does not want to stand in the way of his career.

The 37-year-old Australian used to combine that job with the club position at the New Zealand Warriors. He led them to the Australian Grand Final in 2002, but left in the middle of last season amid reports of clashes with senior players.

The former Sheffield, Castleford and Warrington forward Tawera Nikau wants to replace Anderson as Kiwi coach, despite losing a leg in a motorbike accident two years ago.

"I feel I have the right credentials," said Nikau, who claims he would be able to talk Stacey Jones out of international retirement if he gets the job.

Two former St Helens players have reacted angrily to reports that they have sided with the club over the decision to sack Millward.

The Saints chairman, Eamonn McManus, claimed last week that Darren Smith, the Australian international who played for the club two years ago, had phoned with his support, as well as that of his fellow-countrymen Darren Britt and Peter Shiels.

But those two have denied taking sides with Saints. "I haven't spoken to Darren Smith or to anyone," Britt said. "The first I heard about it was on the radio." Shiels also denied any involvement. "I consider Ian a personal friend and I certainly wouldn't have interfered in this situation," he said.

Millward intends to sue Saints for unfair dismissal and will lodge the papers at Liverpool High Court this week.

Hull's Shayne McMenemy has been cleared of allegations of biting Jason Hooper in Friday's victory over Saints. The Rugby League ruled that there is no case to answer after studying video of the incident.

Toulouse have confirmed their intention to follow Perpignan into Super League.

Perpignan, now known as UTC, will enter the competition next season, and Toulouse's bid could tie in with plans to be unveiled this week for the future structure of Super League, which could switch to a franchise system or even expand to 14 clubs.

Wakefield expect to be without their forward David Wrench for up to six weeks after he smashed his nose in a clash of heads with a team-mate in the match against Widnes on Sunday.

Leigh have revealed that their former Bradford prop Richard Moore has gone missing from the club since serving a five-match suspension.

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