Rugby League: Dewsbury seek part-time home

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The Independent Online
DEWSBURY ARE talking to Huddersfield about the possibility of playing Super League matches next season at the McAlpine Stadium, if they win Saturday's Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final.

Victory over Hunslet would give Dewsbury the right to apply for a Super League place, but their ground capacity of 4,000 at Owl Lane falls well below the criteria set for inclusion.

However, the club's chairman, Bob McDermott, believes that is not an insurmountable obstacle. "We have planning permission for terracing at both ends, which would bring it up to 8,000," he said. "That would make it a terrific rugby league stadium and quite suitable for games against teams like London and Sheffield."

For bigger fixtures, the Rams would hope to use the council-run stadium in Huddersfield now shared by that town's football and rugby league clubs.

"We come under the same Kirklees Council, so we don't see how we could be denied the use of the McAlpine Stadium," said McDermott.

The situation could be complicated by Huddersfield's own discussions about a merger with Sheffield Eagles - something that could reduce the number of games played at the McAlpine.

A reduction in numbers in Super League through amalgamations could also open the way for Widnes, so disappointed at not making the NFP Grand Final, to make a separate application. The League has studied the penalty awarded against George Mann for a high tackle on Hunslet's Lee St Hilaire that effectively eliminated Widnes and ruled that the referee, Russell Smith, was correct.

Northern Ford have agreed to extend their sponsorship of the competition that carries their name for another year.

Warrington have denied any intention of adding the former Wigan coach, John Monie, to their coaching staff. Rumours have suggested that Monie, sacked by Wigan in mid-season, could be at Wilderspool next year, with Darryl Van de Velde moving upstairs into a management role but the club's chief executive, Peter Deakin, dismissed the idea yesterday.

"There's no truth in the story at all," he said. "With the circumstances of the club as they are at the moment, it would not be possible."

The England coach, John Kear, will today name a squad, selected from players not involved in the Tri-series in the southern hemisphere, for next month's matches against France in Carcassonne and Hull.