Wakefield confident of retaining Ellis

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The Independent Online

Wakefield insist they want to retain their captain and Great Britain forward, Gareth Ellis, even though he will be able to leave as a free agent at the end of next season.

Wakefield insist they want to retain their captain and Great Britain forward, Gareth Ellis, even though he will be able to leave as a free agent at the end of next season.

Warrington, Hull and Leeds have all pulled out of the race for Ellis after making offers, leaving Bradford a likely destination, though they are yet to bid. "We are very, very comfortable to go through next season with Gareth and, all being well, he will join up with us for our pre-season camp in Portugal," said Trinity's chief executive, Diane Rogerson. "Some say we should let him go for cash or players, but we hope he will sign the three-year extension that has been offered. Historically, we have had to sell players, but not now."

Warrington are hoping that if Ellis joins Bradford the Bulls will be persuaded to part with the Academy international stand-off or centre Chris Bridge.

Warrington are confident that their new signing, Logan Swann, will join for pre-season training, despite pleading guilty to an assault charge in Auckland. The loose forward, who played for New Zealand in the recent Tri-Nations, has admitted committing the offence in May 2003. The Wolves believe his guilty plea will speed up the legal process.

John Wilshere, the Papua New Guinea winger released by Warrington after an injury-hit season, has attracted interest from Leigh and Widnes.

The London Broncos are sounding out Shane Webcke, who was outstanding in the pack for Australia in the Tri-Nations, for when his contract with Brisbane expires next year.

The Broncos are to play three home games "on the road", including one in Perpignan against Leeds in July, when their landlords at Brentford Football Club reseed their pitch.

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