Players to fight over quota

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Rugby League

The Players' Association is to fight the expansion of the overseas quota to six per club. The change was approved by the Council on Wednesday, but the players' union chairman, Nic Grimoldby, describes his members as "up in arms" over the issue.

"We believe that it is a disaster in both the long and the short term," Grimoldby said. "As players come off the quota after five years in Britain, clubs will have more than six imports on their books.

"It is going to cut off opportunities for a whole generation of British players and it is only being driven from Australia in order to fix up their surplus players.''

The Association is consulted by the Department of Employment over new applications for work permits.

"We will not give our backing to any of the new applicants," said Grimoldby, who has been trying to arrange a meeting with the League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, to discuss his members' concerns.

Wigan confirmed yesterday that they are in negotiations with Wasps which could lead to Va'aiga Tuigamala staying with the union club until the end of their Courage League season.

Warrington, who have broken off talks with St Helens over the sale of Iestyn Harris, have the League's backing in their bid to sign the New Zealand Test forward, Tony Tatupu. Halifax also claim to have signed the player, but Lindsay said that, in the absence of any evidence, Warrington's registration of the player was regarded as valid.