Suspended Gleeson edges towards exit

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The Independent Online

St Helens have failed to quell rumours that Martin Gleeson, one of the two players suspended for betting against their own club, is on his way to Warrington.

St Helens have failed to quell rumours that Martin Gleeson, one of the two players suspended for betting against their own club, is on his way to Warrington.

Gleeson is serving a four-month ban imposed by the Rugby League after he and team-mate Sean Long were found guilty of placing the bets, and he could be sold to alleviate Saints' financial worries.

"I am aware of the rumours,'' said the Saints coach, Ian Millward, who has been told that there is no money to recruit players. "He is not a player I want to fire or get rid of at all." However, the Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus, refused to rule out Gleeson - "or any other player" - being allowed to leave.

A Warrington spokesman said the club had nothing to announce, but recruiting the Great Britain centre, whose brother Mark plays for them, would be a major coup, even though he would be unable to play for them until next year.

Wigan have failed in their attempts to sign the St George Illawara centre, Mark Gasnier. The club had made a big offer to the Kangaroo tourist, who was sacked from the New South Wales squad earlier this year for making an obscene phone call, but St George have refused to release him from his contract, which runs until 2006. Michael De Vere, the Brisbane back to whom Wigan might have switched their attention, needs a knee reconstruction, which is likely to rule out a move to England next year.

The Rugby League is to recommend to Super League clubs that they change the competition's controversial fixture formats for next season.

Each club plays extra games against teams from its own half of the previous season's table, giving teams like Warrington and London a tougher run this season after they finished in the top six in 2003. The League's chief operating officer, Nigel Wood, said the system had too big an influence on the season's outcome and each club should play a mixture of opposition.

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