Widnes board backs Kelly with new players pledge

Neil Kelly has kept his job as the coach of Widnes, with the prospects of a contract extension and bringing new players into the club.

Kelly met directors at the club this week and, after three demoralising defeats so far this season, all the indications were that he could be on his way out. However, the Widnes chairman, Tony Chambers, announced that the board was backing Kelly in his efforts to turn the situation around.

"We are determined that the board, the players, the coaching and support staff and our supporters must all work together to end the atmosphere of negativity that has beset the club in recent months," Chambers said.

"We achieved Super League status by working together for a common goal. Neil and the board are still ambitious and we still believe that a place in the top six is attainable this season."

The board have told Kelly they will begin negotiations on a new two-year contract to come into effect when his current deal expires at the end of the season. They have also told him that they will support his attempts to improve his squad, difficult though that will be after the start of the season.

"It would be nice to be able to strengthen in the right positions," Chambers said. "We will be looking to see how we can help Neil and the existing squad."

The scrum-half Dean Lawford is leaving the club after being granted a release. He is expected to rejoin Batley.

Bradford have suffered a major blow with the news that Toa Kohe-Love could miss the rest of the season after damaging knee ligaments in Sunday's victory over Wakefield, in only his third game for his new club.

Kohe-Love's absence comes on top of the loss of another Bradford centre, Shontayne Hape, with a broken arm.

Limoux's prop Siose Muliumu has been cleared to play against Wigan in the Powergen Challenge Cup fifth-round tie on Sunday after winning his appeal against a two-match ban for use of the forearm in the previous round's victory over Halifax.

Richard Varkulis, recalled from his loan at Rochdale, will make his first-team debut for Warrington in their tie against Oldham on Sunday.