RUGBY LEAGUE: Eager Crooks awaits summons from struggling Hull
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Friday 28 May 1999
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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