Powell gives support to Gregory

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The Independent Online

Wigan should give Mike Gregory their coaching job, according to the rival who will try to bar his way to the Super League Grand Final tomorrow.

Daryl Powell, whose Leeds side meet Wigan in the final eliminator at Headingley, believes that Gregory, who is unbeaten in a caretaker role, should be given the position permanently.

"I think he deserves the job," he said. "He's obviously got the confidence of the players. They are working hard for him and have done everything that could be asked of them."

Powell, who is moving upstairs to the role of director of rugby when Leeds' season ends, has still not decided whether to pick Ryan Bailey, who was released this week after two months in custody.

"He's a bit rusty, but he's not been out long and he will benefit from the last couple of training sessions," he said.

Bailey's chances of a call-up will increase if Barrie McDermott's ankle is still giving him trouble, but Powell is hopeful that he will be fit.

The Leeds centre, Andy Kirk, has joined promoted Salford in a £15,000 transfer, after being on loan to them all season. Salford have also continued their team-strengthening for Super League by confirming the signing of the Canberra second-rower Sean Rutgerson on a two-year deal.

The St Helens winger John Kirkpatrick is to join the London Broncos, but Simon Grix, one of the Halifax players in whom they were interested, has opted instead to re-sign with his hometown club.

Wayne Corcoran, who is also aged 18 and regarded as a key player in Halifax's campaign to win promotion back to Super League at the first attempt next year, has committed his future to the club, too. "There was interest from other clubs, and I'm delighted they are staying," the Halifax coach, Tony Anderson, said.

The coach of Australia for their tour this autumn, Chris Anderson, is fighting to keep his job at Cronulla, despite receiving a third warning letter from the club. He is thought to have been reprimanded over his reaction to the club's decision to release his son, Jarrod.