Toulouse the dark horses as Super League decide on newcomers

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The Independent Online

Seven tight-lipped men will this morning put at least two clubs out of their misery by elevating them to Super League. The revolutionary new system of licensing 14 clubs to play in the competition comes to fruition amid a unique degree of secrecy. Only seven people know who is out and who is in, five of them making up the panel that made the decision on Friday.

Of the seven new candidates, Salford, Widnes and the Celtic Crusaders all claim to be equally confident, although there is a minority view that Toulouse are coming up on the rails and that Wakefield are not entirely safe.

Paul Cooke's future at Hull KR is in limbo after his omission from the side that lost to Hull on Sunday. His coach, Justin Morgan, claimed that he had been left out because he was not fit, but declined to confirm or deny that he had been sent home from training for disciplinary reasons last week.

Rovers' players have this week off and the club said there would be no comment on Cooke's future. Hull, his former club, have already said that if he leaves the Robins they do not want him back.

Danny McGuire could be ruled out of Leeds' Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens by this evening's disciplinary hearing. The stand-off faces a charge of making a high tackle in the Rhinos' win at the Catalan Dragons.

Wigan could be without two players against Huddersfield on Friday. Apart from Michael McIlorum, who was sent off for a high tackle on Saints' Ade Gardner, Richie Mathers faces a charge of striking over the incident that left Lee Gilmour concussed.

Wigan have admitted that Karl Pryce will not play for them this season because of the foot injury that has plagued him since his arrival from Gloucester. "The player is very much in our thoughts for the future, but he's not right yet," said his coach, Brian Noble.

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