McDermott makes new start at Leeds

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Rugby League

The Test prop, Barrie McDermott, is following the well-trodden path from Wigan to Leeds, agreeing terms with the Yorkshire club yesterday for a pounds 100,000 transfer.

McDermott, aged 23, departs from Central Park after an up and down 16 months. Bought from Oldham for an eventual total of pounds 65,000, he made an immediate impact, winning a place in the Great Britain squad for all three Tests against Australia last autumn.

Since then, a combination of injuries and disciplinary troubles have limited his first-team appearances.

"The coach and Barrie didn't see eye to eye," said his agent, David McKnight, somewhat unfortunately, as McDermott, apart from his playing prowess and his temperament, is best known for having only one eye.

The new Leeds coach, Dean Bell, is confident that he can help his first signing to overcome his excesses of aggression. "I've been in the same situation and maybe I can pass on what I've learned," he said.

McDermott will not sign officially until after Wigan have played an Alliance match tonight, enabling him to complete a five-match suspension for head- butting. He will then come into the reckoning for the first team at London Broncos on Sunday.

As Wigan lose a player, Castleford, their opponents tonight, have gained one, signing the loose forward Brendon Tuuta from Featherstone.

However, Wigan were reported last night to have completed the signing of the Western Samoan rugby union forward Shem Tatupu. His World Cup team- mate, the 24-year-old centre Fereti Tuilagi, has joined Halifax.

The Leeds full-back, Alan Tait, will be out for three weeks after cracking his cheekbone against Halifax on Sunday.

REGAL TROPHY First-round draw: Barrow v Park Amateurs, Bramley v Woolston, Carlisle v Doncaster, Chorley v Nottingham, Highfield v Hemel Hempstead, Hull KR v Blackpool, Hunslet v Ellenborough, Leigh v St Esteve, Swinton v West Hull, York v Pia.

(Matches to be played on October 1).