Widnes on horizon after Stankevitch exit rattles Doncaster

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The Independent Online

Doncaster have called a crisis meeting following the sudden resignation of their coach, John Stankevitch. The former St Helens forward was only appointed this summer, but has now left the National League One club, citing family and travel problems. He is expected to re-emerge as the assistant coach to Steve McCormack at Widnes, the other club for which he played during his career.

Widnes, under their new ownership, are rebuilding and this week has seen them recruit two props with Super League experience Jim Gannon from Hull KR and Danny Hill, who has been released by Wigan.

The Rugby League has congratulated Castleford on the success of their planning application for their new ground. Although the planning permission limits capacity to 13,000, Cas hope to expand it to 15,000.

Wigan have put six of their brightest prospects on full-time contracts for next season. They include the Tomkins brothers, Joel and Sam. "A key part of our strategy is to give young players the opportunity to progress to the first team," said the new Wigan chairman, Ian Lenagan.

The chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League, Andrew Chalmers, has resigned amid recriminations about his year in charge. Chalmers presided over the 3-0 whitewash by Great Britain and has been accused of running up a large financial deficit. He has cited family and business pressures for his decision and has been replaced by Ray Haffenden.

Graeme Thompson has been appointed England team manager, to work alongside the coach, Tony Smith, in preparing for next year's World Cup.