Rugby League: Griffiths fears for future of the game

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The Independent Online
The code in Wales could have "reached the end of the road" if South Wales lose their financial backer as a result of their rejection by Super League.

The club was told this week that it will not be allowed to play in the elite competition next season but will instead be invited to play in the First Division.

Their coach, Clive Griffiths, also the coach of the Welsh national side, fears that the anonymous benefactor who has put up pounds 1m to finance them in Super League will now pull out.

"We have yet to talk to him to find out whether that is his position, but I fear that it will be," Griffiths said. "We aren't giving in. We will fight to the finish, but the game in Wales could have reached the end of the road."

Paul Newlove has been ruled out of Great Britain's tour to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand which starts next week and is replaced by Daryl Powell, the 31-year-old captain of Keighley Cougars. Newlove tore a hamstring in the Premiership final on Sunday.

The better news for the Test coach, Phil Larder, is that Chris Joynt is recovering well from an exploratory knee operation and will be able to travel with the rest of the party next Friday.

Larder's New Zealand counterpart, Frank Endacott, has included the former Leeds centre Craig Innes in his plans for the Test series. That is despite the former All Black being under contract to the Australian Rugby League, rather than to Super League, under whose auspices New Zealand and Great Britain will play their Test series.

Innes is also the subject of court action by Leeds after his walk out in mid-contract earlier this year.