RUGBY LEAGUE: Clinch accepts Kear's offer of Giants lifeline

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The Independent Online
JOHN KEAR has finally got his man by signing Gavin Clinch for the Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants. The former St George and Halifax scrum- half has joined the newly merged club after a short and unhappy stay at Wigan, with whom he has agreed a severance deal before committing himself to a three-year contract with the Giants.

"It's well known that I've been chasing Gavin for a while," said his new coach. "I tried to sign him a couple of years ago for Sheffield [Eagles]."

Clinch, aged 25, joined Wigan mid-way through last season, but started only nine games before it became clear that his future lay elsewhere. He will now form a half-back partnership with the New Zealand international, Gene Ngamu. "I already live near the McAlpine, so it's an ideal move for me," said Clinch. "The team, under John Kear, has enormous potential."

Clinch becomes the third overseas player to leave Wigan in the close season, following the transfer of Greg Florimo and Brett Goldspink to Halifax. A fourth could also be on his way, with the London Broncos hoping to persuade the Australian centre, Danny Moore, to join them when their new coach, John Monie, starts work today.

Monie took Moore to Wigan and although the player has turned down a move to the capital, the Broncos hope that his mentor can change his mind.

Another former St George scrum-half, Steve Linnane, has made two more signings for his new club, Rochdale Hornets. He has recruited the Australian- born Welsh international threequarter, Gavin Price-Jones, from Swinton and the utility back, Danny Wood, from Dewsury.

One of the oldest, most famous and successful clubs in Australia has lost its legal battle for survival. South Sydney, founder members when the code sprang up in Australia in 1908 and winners of more Premierships than any other club, have failed to gain an injunction to stop the National Rugby League starting without them in February.

Souths fell foul of the NRL's policy of reducing its numbers to 14 clubs. They turned down a merger and were told earlier this year that they failed to meet the criteria for membership. Their demise means that a number of players will be on the market, including the coveted Craig Wing, a possible Wigan target.