Rugby League: Bradford to sell off Edwards

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The Independent Online
BRADFORD ARE to off-load their former Great Britain scrum-half, Shaun Edwards, after admitting that his move to Odsal has not worked. Edwards was substituted during the defeat at Salford on Sunday, taking an unhappy marriage beyond breaking point.

The ex-Wigan player joined the Bulls from London this winter, but was soon complaining about not being in the starting line-up and was the subject of rumours about personality clashes with other players. London could be the most likely club to make a move for him.

"We have given it every opportunity to work, but it has become obvious that it's not going to," said the Bradford coach, Matthew Elliott. "We have had a discussion and Shaun and the club have decided that we are best cutting our losses."

Elliott said that the player's absence from training on Monday had not been a factor. "He has been playing with injections for a sternum injury," he said.

Bradford may now chase Henry Paul, whose future at Wigan is in doubt following the club's swoop to sign the Australian, Greg Florimo. Although the 31-year-old North Sydney player is noted for his versatility, stand- off is his best position and Wigan, inhibited by the salary cap, are unlikely to afford high wages for two specialists in the role.

Paul's contract is up at the end of this season and his possible availability has alerted Auckland, the club that released him to join Wigan in 1994, as well as Bradford, for whom his brother, Robbie, plays.

Florimo toured Britain with the 1994 Kangaroos and also played Tests against New Zealand the following year. Wigan faced competition for his signature from Bradford and from Norths, who offered him a coaching role in an attempt to keep him. "He will be badly missed," said their chief executive, Bob Saunders.

The Rugby League Council has cleared the decks for a possibly fractious meeting today. Among the possible causes of conflict could be Super League clubs' instruction to their chairman and managing director, Chris Caisley and Maurice Lindsay respectively, to press ahead with the renegotiation of the contract with News Ltd.

A new five-year deal is on the table which would see First and Second Division clubs cut adrift with a severance payment. Super League will thus argue that the new contract is purely a matter for them, without any involvement from the Rugby League. Other topics include admitting new clubs to Super League next season, raising the overseas quota to five players per club and scrapping the transfer system, in line with the Bosman ruling.

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