No job for Lydon yet

Rugby League
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The Rugby League has dampened speculation that Joe Lydon is about to take over as the man in charge of the game at youth level.

Lydon left his job as football manager at Wigan this week when his contract was not renewed. He has since been widely tipped to replace John Kear, who has resigned as Academy and coaching executive at the League, to join Sheffield.

However, the League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, repeated that there will be no appointment until the amateur game's governing body, Barla, responds to proposals for the unification of the amateur and professional wings of the game.

"Until we have a clearer indication of their views, especially on the establishment of a youth commission, it would be unfair to link Joe Lydon - or anyone else - with the job," he said.

Wigan, who do not appear to have tried very hard to keep Lydon on board, are now without a team manager, as well as a chief executive.

Leeds, on the other hand, will have one man doubling up. Their chief executive, Gary Hetherington, has further signalled his intention to be a "hands-on" boss by taking on the football manager's responsibilities after Hugh McGahan's departure.

Hetherington will take charge of transfers and contracts, while the head coach, Dean Bell, will also assume control of the club's Alliance team.

Wigan and St Helens are at odds over a new date for the second leg of their Winter Challenge, which was postponed on New Year's Day.

Wigan want to play the match on 19 January. Saints already have a friendly arranged that day and favour 12 January. The League has been asked to adjudicate.

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