St Helens too early for Chambers

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The Independent Online

Dwain Chambers will not make his rugby league debut this weekend, says the Castleford coach, Terry Matterson.

Cas had suggested earlier this week that the sprinter was in line to play against St Helens in either reserve or first grade on Sunday.

But Matterson has admitted that such a move would be sheer folly.

“He’s only had one training session with us, so it’s early days and would be a very big ask,” he said.

Matterson had previously said that he was so short of players because of injuries that he might consider the rawest of raw recruits for the first team.

“But I’m pretty sure now we’re going to have enough players,” he said. “Dwain’s fast alright – even in boots and carrying a ball. I've never seen anything like him, but it would just be too tough for him at the moment.”

Chambers, who served a two-year ban from athletics for steroid use, has been registered by the Rugby League as an unpaid trialist for a month. The League’s performance department, however, could still have intervened if they felt there were dangers inherent in an insufficiently experienced player taking the field.

St Helens’ teenaged half-back prospect, Kyle Eastmond, and the Hull forward, Willie Manu, have both agreed contract extensions that will keep them at their respective clubs until 2010. Eastmond has impressed as a deputy for Sean Long when called upon this season.

The St George-Illawarra hooker, Mark Riddell, has confirmed that he is in discussions with Wigan about joining them next season.

That throws doubt on the future of the Warriors’ two current hookers, Mickey Higham and Michael McIlorum, both of whom are out of contract at the end of this season.

Hull KR have unveiled their plans to redevelop their Craven Park ground to hold crowds of 14,000 by 2010.

There is to be a £6 million new stand at the north end of the stadium, with 2500 seats. Work is already taking place on the East Stand, which will take the capacity over 10,000 when its extension opens next month.