Rugby League: Ellis to display his value: Wing nears record

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The Independent Online
A SENSE of timing is a vital part of the armoury of a top- flight wing, and St John Ellis's this week has been interesting, to say the least.

Ellis, the league's leading try-scorer with 35, is within one of equalling the Castleford record set by Keith Howe 30 years ago. He is also in line to become the first player from the club to top the try-scoring charts at the end of a season.

But Ellis has asked for a transfer and is adamant that he will not play for Castleford next season unless his contract is improved. 'I'm not playing for pennies any more,' he said. 'I just want what I'm worth.'

Castleford have listed Ellis at pounds 200,000, a price nobody would dream of paying for a 29-year-old wing, even one in his rich vein of form. Ellis is angered by that valuation, but will continue to train and play for the rest of this season.

'I owe that much to the fans and the coach, John Joyner, with whom I have no argument at all,' he said. 'It all just saddens me, because I've always done my best for Castleford and I don't want to leave.'

The player's first opportunity to show that he will continue to give his best is in tomorrow's most vital match, the visit of the championship dark horses, Warrington.

The Wire, who can still snatch the title this week, have doubts over Lee Penny's ankle and Bob Jackson's neck.

Leeds's team at Leigh will be scrutinised with more than usual interest. Leeds are already due to appear before a sub-committee of the League's board of directors on Monday to explain their fielding a team of reserves at St Helens in midweek.