St Helens hope to beat weather
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Friday 10 February 2012
St Helens are confident they can beat the worst of the weather and open Langtree Park tonight.
The new ground does not have under-soil heating but the pitch has been covered and hot air has been pumped in underneath. Saints say they are "pretty confident" the game against Salford will go ahead.
The side will be led out by Tom van Vollenhoven, their great South African winger of the 1960s; Salford will have an equally eminent figure, David Watkins, leading them on to the turf of the £20m, 18,000-capacity arena on the site of an old glassworks. With 11,000 season tickets sold, a full house seems guaranteed.
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