Work has officially begun on Salford's new stadium, after 10 years of delays and frustration. The project took a significant stride forward yesterday with a ground-breaking ceremony at the site at Barton. The club's chairman John Wilkinson called it "a landmark occasion in the history of Salford Rugby Club."
After the site is cleared, actual construction of the £26 million, 15,000-capacity stadium is due to start in October, with a delivery date set for December 2011, in time for the 2012 Super League season.
Licences have still to be awarded for that season, with Salford – along with Castleford, Wakefield and St Helens – already on notice that they must have adequate stadia by then or face possible expulsion. "It is the beginning of the end of the toughest journey the club has ever been on," Wilkinson added.
Hull KR have ruled out any immediate move to sign the Melbourne Storm stand-off Brett Finch, who is one of a number of players who may have to leave the club in the wake of their salary cap fraud. "He might be a player we would want to have a look at for next season, but we're not in the market for any players for this year," said Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan. That could leave the way clear for the Catalan Dragons to recruit Finch, although he would prefer to finish the season with Melbourne.
Leeds have learned that the England captain Jamie Peacock will be out for four to six weeks with strained knee ligaments.