RUGBY LEAGUE: Eager Crooks awaits summons from struggling Hull

STEVE CROOKS is setting out his stall to become Peter Walsh's permanent successor as coach of Hull.

Crooks, who has experience as head coach at York and Hull KR and is acting as caretaker at The Boulevard for the second time, draws the line at actually applying for the job.

"I've never applied for a job in my life," he said. "But I know I could do it, even if I wouldn't be coming into it thinking I know all the answers."

Walsh was sacked earlier this week after a run of 11 defeats in 12 games took Hull to the foot of the Super League table. Despite the difficulty of the job, a number of high-profile candidates are being linked with it, including the former Hull players, Lee Crooks and Gary Kemble, the ex-London coach, Tony Currie, and Frank Endacott, currently in charge of the New Zealand Test side.

"Applications are coming in from everywhere," said Crooks. "But I am just concentrating on the game against Salford." That game, on Sunday, pits the bottom two sides in Super League against each other.

Peter Gill is in line to make his 100th appearance for the London Broncos in tonight's match at home to Wigan. Gill, who has been battling against a chronic back injury, is one of the Broncos' likely substitutes at The Stoop. Steele Retchless, such an important figure in the London pack, makes his comeback after a broken hand.

In the absence for Wigan of Andy Farrell, Phil Jones will carry the responsibility for the goal-kicking. The Wigan coach, John Monie, has included Jones, signed from the Lancashire Lynx earlier this season, on the wing.

The organisers of next year's World Cup have started the process of deciding the venues for the tournament. Two major decisions concern the opening match between England and Australia on 28 October and the final on 21 November. Old Trafford is the first choice for the final, but the tournament opener could go to a smaller ground that would guarantee a full house, like Huddersfield or Wigan.

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