Waite's arrival brings confusion and criticism

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The Independent Online

David Waite will arrive in England today - to an as yet undefined role and an uncertain welcome. The deposed St George-Illawarra coach flew out of Sydney yesterday and is expected to begin a four-month consultancy with the Rugby League, which has refused to confirm his arrival.

David Waite will arrive in England today - to an as yet undefined role and an uncertain welcome. The deposed St George-Illawarra coach flew out of Sydney yesterday and is expected to begin a four-month consultancy with the Rugby League, which has refused to confirm his arrival.

Waite is thought to be in line to play a supervisory role with all four home nations in this autumn's World Cup, while some believe he may coach Great Britain after that.

Malcolm Reilly, Waite's successor at the Newcastle Knights, has called it "an unnecessary appointment. There are already too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

As Great Britain Academy coach, Reilly would be expected to work closely with Waite, but admits that he does not get on with him. Others at the League's headquarters are in the dark about how his arrival will affect their roles.

The sacked Wakefield coach, Andy Kelly, is back in the country after a holiday and ready to be interviewed by Huddersfield-Sheffield for their vacant coaching position. "I'm very interested and hopeful that something will come of it," he said.

His successor at Trinity, Tony Kemp, has admitted an interest in Richie Blackmore, a former team-mate for both Castleford and New Zealand. Blackmore's contract with Leeds is up at the end of this season and he faces heavy competition in the centres next year.

Salford have signed their Australian centre or second row, Jason Nicol, for another two seasons. The former South Sydney player - known as The Skull - arrived after the start of the season, but has made his mark in a campaign that has had its encouraging moments.

"The club is heading in the right direction now," said Nicol, who rejected other offers to stay at The Willows. "We've been putting in some good performances and I'm sure there will be more to come."

His coach, John Harvey, said: "Jason has been a real handful for the opposition to deal with. He's a big strong lad who can break a tackle."

The game's International Federation has decided not to exclude Fiji from the World Cup, unless instructed to do so by the British Government.

Bob McDermott, the chairman of the Association of Premiership Clubs, says that the Northern Ford Premiership will revert to winter the season after next. The 2000-01 season will start on 3 December, because of the World Cup, but McDermott favours an October kick-off in future campaigns.

Super League is continuing its search for a new chief executive, despite on-going moves towards setting up a shared headquarters for the various strands of the game.

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