Rovers hoping to make Gene one of their own

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The Independent Online

The Rugby League’s board of directors will consider an appeal from Hull KR to have Stanley Gene reclassified as a home-produced player, so that he can continue his long career in Britain.

The Papua New Guinean, who has been in this country for 12 years, is threatened with being cut by Rovers as they adjust their squad to stay within their import quota for next season.

“I would love to keep Stanley, but, as things stand, our import quota is full and he would have to leave the club,” said the Rovers coach, Justin Morgan.

The 34-year-old utility player, one of the most popular figures in the game, is out of contract at the end of this season, but is keen to stay on. He has a British wife and British-born children.

An RFL spokesman said that the board has discretion over individual cases and will consider Gene’s classification if his club applies for a review.

The League has already exercised its discretion in other cases. The Leeds forward, Simon Worrall, has been re-classified as club-produced after switching codes from the Rhinos’ sister rugby union club, Leeds Carnegie.

Halifax’ Australian-born Shad Royston has been rebranded as a British-trained player after spending the last four years in Britain, previously playing for Batley and Doncaster.

On the other hand, the French hooker, Julian Rinaldi, has been told that he is not being retained by Harlequins because he counts as an overseas player.

The Catalan Dragons’ forward, Jamal Fakir, is facing a suspension that could finish his season, after being charged with a reckless high tackle in Saturday’s victory at Huddersfield. If found guilty, Fakir could be banned for up to four games.

Also at tonight’s disciplinary committee hearing will be Wigan’s Richard Mathers, sent off for the second time this season for striking a Wakefield opponent. Castleford’s Scott Moore has been charged with use of the forearm in the defeat at Leeds.

Hull KR’s Kris Welham has been told he has no case to answer over the tackle on Warrington’s Chris Riley for which he was put on report on Sunday.

Gateshead Thunder, already certain of promotion from National League 2, are in discussions with Newcastle Falcons about ground-sharing at Kingston Park, where they are to play this Thursday’s game against Doncaster.

The move would probably involve a change of name, with the Northern Falcons one of the possible options.

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