Widnes choose to stick with Betts

Widnes have sprung a surprise by not appointing a new coach to take them into Super League, showing faith instead in the one they already have.

All the indications were that Widnes were keen to recruit an experienced operator from overseas, with names such as Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens and Daniel Anderson bandied about. Instead, they are sticking with Denis Betts, under whom the side's form has been patchy since his hiring at the start of this season. His appointment is for the first two years of the three for which the Vikings have been awarded a Super League licence.

"We considered a number of other candidates, but it was abundantly clear during this process that Denis was the best fit for our club," said the Widnes chairman, Steve O'Connor.

Betts had a year in charge of Wigan between 2004 and 2005, but then spent five years in rugby union with Gloucester.

St Helens have held off a bid from Warrington to re-sign Tony Puletua for another two years. Bradford have had their worst fears confirmed by x-rays on Chev Walker's ankle. The centre broke a bone in the Challenge Cup win at Halifax and will need surgery that will put him out for up to 10 weeks.

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