Rugby League: Broncos hint at deal with Wigan on Sailor

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The Independent Online
The Brisbane Broncos have banned Wendell Sailor from training until he sorts out his future and his agreement to play for Wigan. Dave Hadfield reports.

The Australian Test winger Wendell Sailor stands to become one of the best-paid players in the game if he takes up a two-year, pounds 500,000 contract with Wigan in 1999.

But Brisbane are now claiming to have a two-year option on him after this season, which would mean that he could not come to Britain until 2001.

The club's chief executive, Shane Edwards, has given Sailor - who has been stranded in northern Queensland by a cyclone - two weeks to tell them what he intends to do and have told him to stay away until then.

Brisbane are now considering three possible outcomes. Sailor could accept their version of events and play a further three years for them, the two could clash in court or, as the Broncos have hinted, they might come to a financial settlement with Wigan.

Wigan will now make contact with club and player to try to clarify the position. They are also being linked in Australia with one player whose signing would be a bigger story than that of Sailor - the Australian captain, Laurie Daley.

The Canberra stand-off is under a long-term contract at his club, but he could conceivably be available by the time Wigan move into their new stadium, two years from now.

The Great Britain coach, Andy Goodway, has been confirmed as assistant to John Monie at Wigan. The coaching staff is to be completed by another former Wigan and Great Britain back-row forward, Billy McGinty, who is taking charge of the Academy side.

The Rugby Football League and Super League are on a collision course over the question of who should renegotiate the lucrative television contract with News Ltd.

Maurice Lindsay, chief executive of the RFL until being edged out and moving to Super League less than two weeks ago, has suggested that he should have the main responsibility for working out the new deal. But his successor at the RFL, Neil Tunnicliffe, insisted yesterday that "I have stressed and he has accepted the importance of the Rugby League having representation when they sit down at the table with News Ltd.

"I still have no reason to expect that Super League will try to do a deal unilaterally."

But the chairman of Super League Europe, Chris Caisley, said that it remained to be seen with whom News want to negotiate. Britain also faces difficult negotiations with the new, combined competition in Australia over international fixtures for next season.

The programme worked out for the coming season in Australia sees their domestic fixtures finish four weeks before Britain, raising logistical problems for a proposed triangular tournament also involving New Zealand.

Newly promoted Hull have signed the Bradford scrum-half, Glen Tomlinson, for pounds 20,000 after failing to get a work permit for another Australian, Craig Kimmorley.