League approves South Wales

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The Independent Online
The ambition of the new South Wales club to play in next year's Super League has been approved in principle by the League's board of directors.

The board, however, has insisted the consortium, which wants to base the club at the Cardiff Arms Park, must guarantee to match any money from News Corporation, to which they will become entitled as Super League members. Subject to those guarantees, the board will recommend to the next meeting of the Rugby League Council to expedite South Wales' entry.

Leading clubs will be without key players for part of next month, because of the first playing of the Oceania Cup. Clubs will be told that they must release Western Samoans like Va'aiga Tuigamala, of Wigan, and Apollo Perelini, of St Helens, both of whom are likely to be badly missed during the run-in to the championship.

Other clubs which will be seriously affected include Sheffield Eagles, who have three Fijians on their books, and Halifax, who have a colony of Tongans and Samoans. The League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, said the only way to help the Pacific island nations to develop was to enable them to field their strongest sides.

The London Broncos have targeted the Bath rugby union players, Steve Ojomoh and Simon Geoghegan. The Broncos chairman, Barry Maranta, said talks had already begun with the 25-year-old England forward. Several rugby league clubs have tried to tempt Geoghegan, the Irish wing, but the Broncos believe they have a chance because he lives and works in London.

Castleford's former Great Britain full-back, Graham Steadman, has signed a new contract to the end of the 1998 season.