Rugby League: End in sight to great divide

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The Independent Online
The 24-year war between the governing bodies running professional and amateur rugby league in Britain finally showed signs of ending yesterday.

Bitter wrangling that has racked the sport since amateur officials broke away to set up the British Amateur Rugby league Association (Barla) in 1973 was cast aside at a historic meeting at the Posthouse Hotel in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

The first step towards reunification was taken when Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of the Rugby Football League and his Barla counterpart, Mike Morrissey, put their signatures to a partnership agreement setting up a Joint Policy Board.

Sir Rodney will chair the new board, which will comprise five members of Barla and an equal number of RFL representatives.

Bradford Bulls prop Brian McDermott has been called into the Great Britain squad for next month's British Gas Test series against Australia. The 27-year-old front-row forward has been added following the refusal of Western Suburbs to release former Leeds and Widnes forward Harvey Howard.