Rugby League: Clubs refuse to alter fixtures

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British rugby league will not revise its fixtures this year, even to fit in with the Australians in setting up an international programme.

The newly unified game Down Under is currently working out its calendar for this year, but looks certain to finish its domestic fixtures a month before Britain.

That has led to suggestions that Super League here should scrap its proposed three-week midsummer gap, which has been earmarked for home international matches.

However, the League's acting chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, said: "Clubs are selling season tickets like hot cakes and to change fixtures now would be a breach of contract with our supporters. We are also committed to setting up a Five Nations competition, in which this is a first step."

That may mean Australia and New Zealand having a four-week lay-off before Great Britain could fly out for a triangular tournament in November.

The London Broncos are to consider playing their Challenge Cup fourth- round tie elsewhere in the South-east, in order both to spread the word and to avoid antagonising residents near The Stoop, who have complained about extra matches since the Broncos moved in with Harlequins.

The club has also asked Sky not to schedule them for home matches on Friday nights because of local hostility.

The Salford scrum-half, Ian Watson, has moved to neighbours Swinton after seeing the club, for which he made 27 appearances last season, sign three other players who can play in the position during the winter.

He joins Ian Blease, another Salford player to make the same move this week.