Oldham sack Molloy after early exit in play-offs

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The Independent Online

Oldham have sacked their player-coach, Steve Molloy, after two seasons in charge at the National League 1 club. The former Great Britain prop has been told that his contract, which expires next month, is not being renewed for next season.

Oldham have sacked their player-coach, Steve Molloy, after two seasons in charge at the National League 1 club. The former Great Britain prop has been told that his contract, which expires next month, is not being renewed for next season.

Oldham finished fourth this year and were knocked out of the NL1 play-offs at the first hurdle by Featherstone.

"We feel that we have under-achieved this season and there have been times when the players have let him down," said a statement from the club. "But ultimately he chooses the players at the club and he has to stand or fall by what they do."

Oldham hope to make a quick appointment, with the former Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, a possible target if he does not land the job at relegated Castleford. Many Oldham supporters would like to see Mike Ford return, but he has a well-paid job with the Irish Rugby Union.

The Leeds coach, Tony Smith, has urged the Bradford and Great Britain coach, Brian Noble, to look again at some of the Rhinos' Test candidates when the two clubs meet in the Super League play-offs this Saturday.

Despite leading the table by nine points, a massive margin, at the end of the regular season, Leeds are thought to have only four players in Noble's preliminary Great Britain squad, which has still not been named publicly.

Keith Senior and Kevin Sinfield are automatic selections and it would be a major surprise if Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow are not there, but that would leave no room for the likes of Richard Mathers, Matt Diskin, Danny Ward and Wayne McDonald - all of whom have been in outstanding form during Leeds' march to the League Leaders Trophy.

"All I'm saying is that you have to pick in-form players and we've got a lot of in-form players," Smith said. "The 40 could change due to form and the people playing well at the back end of the season are the logical people to pick from."

Diskin, who would be in competition with St Helens' Keiron Cunningham and Wigan's Terry Newton at hooker, would be a particularly contentious omission. He is Leeds' player of the year and was named last week in the Super League Dream Team for the season.

The Bulls' Paul Anderson is back after a knee operation and Jamie Langley is also added to Bradford's squad for a game that is expected to attract a capacity 21,225, despite the game being switched from Friday night.

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