Reward for Salford pair

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The Salford chairman and coach, John Wilkinson and Andy Gregory, have been rewarded for their club's success by being put in charge of Great Britain's side in the World Nines in Townsville, writes Dave Hadfield.

Gregory, the former Test scrum-half, and Wilkinson will take the British squad to the three-day tournament, which begins on 31 January. "My partnership with John has reaped great rewards for Salford and we are confident we can do well on the international front," said Gregory, who guided Salford into Super League by winning the First Division last season.

Gregory has developed into one of Britain's most promising coaches, but the decision to appoint him could be read as a snub to the Test coach Phil Larder.

Although the tournament falls on a blank weekend between rounds of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup, only one player will be selected from each club. The Nines have been switched to North Queensland after only one year of a planned five in Fiji.

Two of Salford's surplus overseas players are in the process of finding new clubs for next season. The Cook Islander, Ali Davys, has agreed terms with Huddersfield while the New Zealander Paul Mansson is talking to Hunslet.