Steadman fired by Castleford

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The Independent Online

Castleford last night sacked their coach, Graham Steadman, after three years in charge. The club lost their seventh Super League game in a row on Saturday and there was a small demonstration by disgruntled fans afterwards.

Steadman was adamant that he would not resign, but the decision was taken out of his hands yesterday when the club's directors met to discuss their worst start to a Super League season.

Widnes' Neil Kelly, the recently sacked Australian Test coach, Chris Anderson, and the former Castleford players, John Kear and Malcolm Reilly, are among those being mentioned as possible successors.

The Rugby League has rejected suggestions from Huddersfield that St Helens' Sean Long and Martin Gleeson should be banned from this Sunday's Challenge Cup semi-final while allegations of betting against their team are investigated.

St Helens say that the pair will be considered for selection, but the Giants' chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, believes that there is a case to answer and that the players should be suspended until it is resolved. However, a League spokesman said yesterday: "The players must be treated as innocent until proven guilty."

The League will be looking into claims that Long announced that Saints were to field a weakened team at Bradford over the microphone in a St Helens night-club, two days before the Easter game. They did and they lost heavily.

The French club, Union Treiziste Catalane, could learn today whether they are to be accepted into Super League in 2006. They will present a business plan to a meeting of Super League clubs at Warrington.