Rugby League: Broncos set to announce surprise coach

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LONDON BRONCOS are ready to name a rank outsider, who has come up late on the rails, as their new coach. The club has been looking to fill the vacancy since the departure of Tony Currie last month and has now settled on the man it wants.

But it is not, according to London's chief executive, Tony Rea, any of the names most closely linked with the job over the last couple of weeks. He has ruled out the Gold Coast Chargers' coach, Phil Economidis, as well as two other Australians who were among the early front-runners, the former Test players, Mark Murray and Les Kiss.

"It is going to be a surprise to a lot of people," Rea said. "He is not a big name, but he has a tremendous work ethic and comes highly recommended. He has really impressed us."

London hope to make an announcement within the next 24 hours and to bring their new coach over from Australia this weekend to introduce him to the rest of the staff and start planning for next season.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have recruited another Australian for next season - the Western Suburbs winger or full-back, Brett Warton, who is also an accomplished goal-kicker.

The Leeds second-rower, Adrian Morley, is struggling to be fit for the second Lincoln Test against New Zealand at Bolton this Saturday. Morley missed the defeat by the Kiwis at Huddersfield on Saturday with an ankle injury and his chances of making a comeback this time are not regarded as good.

Keiron Cunningham, the St Helens hooker who came off in the second half with head and rib injuries, is expected to be available.

One certainty is that there will be changes off the field. The Rugby League has responded to criticisms of its presentation of the first Test by cutting out some of its more irritating features for the second match.

The intrusive bursts of music which were supposed to help motivate the Great Britain side are to be silenced. "It was an experiment and it didn't work," said a Rugby League spokesman.

The League has also apologised to the Kiwis for the apparent insult of playing "Rule Britannia" during their traditional pre-match haka. It will be performed in the customary respectful silence at the Reebok Stadium. We have also been promised a ground announcer who can manage the names of the players, so it will be welcome back Jarrod McCracken and a fond farewell to "Javed" McCracken, to cite just the most embarrassing mistake.

There is every prospect of a full house at Bolton, with all the more expensive seats already sold.