Geoghegan seeks US help

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Rugby Union

Simon Geoghegan, Bath's Irish wing, will travel to the United States at the weekend for surgery on both feet. "I am going to San Diego on Sunday and will have operations on both toe joints by an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in that particular area," he said.

"I just hope it works out and that I will be able to regain full fitness. It has been frustrating and extremely disappointing."

Geoghegan, who scored a try in Bath's opening match against Orrell, will miss the match at Leicester on Saturday. He has had recurring trouble with the joints and an operation in London during the summer failed to solve the problem.

Va'aiga Tuigamala has been cleared to make his debut for Wasps. The Department for Education and Employment have relented and granted the rugby league player and former All Black wing a work permit.

Tuigamala will play for Wigan in the Premiership final at Old Trafford on Sunday and is expected to play in the Courage League on Saturday week, when Wasps play Bath at the Recreation Ground.

Tuigamala may be up against some familiar faces as two of his Wigan team- mates, Henry Paul and Jason Robinson, are due to make their debuts for Bath in the match.

Wasps had threatened legal action after their initial application for a work permit was turned down on the grounds that Tuigamala did not meet the criterion of having played international rugby in the last 18 months. His last match for the All Blacks, before his move to Wigan, was in 1993.

However, the Department for Education and Employment advised the Rugby Football Union yesterday that they were prepared to allow Tuigamala to play for Wasps.

A spokesman for the RFU said: "We are pleased to support the Department of Education and Employment on this exceptional basis. Tuigamala has demonstrated that he has been a truly outstanding rugby union player and is at international standard in rugby league."

Tuigamala, who had considered returning to visit his family in New Zealand this winter, has signed a short-term contract with Wasps and will be available until the first week in January.

"Although I'm focused on Wigan's Premiership final meeting with St Helens at Old Trafford on Sunday, I'm looking forward to linking up with Wasps and rugby union again," he said.

Martin Offiah is determined to overcome a toe injury and make his debut for Bedford against Nottingham on Saturday. He is keen to play for his new club after being forced to miss London Broncos' Super League Premiership play-off game against St Helens last Sunday.

"I'll see how it is later in the week and make a decision then. I'm looking forward to a new challenge at Bedford and I hope I can run them in a lot of tries," Offiah said.

Bedford's Geoff Cooke, the former England manager, and his new player- coach, Paul Turner, both admitted they were not as far forward in their preparation as they would have liked.

"We are in discussion with some second-row forwards because we have identified a problem in our line-out," Turner said. "We hope to make an announcement about a new signing later this week."

Sale have parted company with Brian Wilkinson, their chief executive and director of rugby. They have appointed Richard Trickey, the club president, as their new rugby director. He will be assisted by Steve Smith, the former England captain.

A new chief executive will be appointed in a few days. The club would not comment on the reasons behind Wilkinson's departure.

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