Rugby League; Halifax fear player exodus

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HALIFAX ARE hoping to get through their current financial crisis without being forced to lose players.

The club, hit by cashflow difficulties that recently threw doubts on their ability to continue in Super League, have met the players and explained what they see as the way forward. That consists of continuing to meet obligations to them for this season, but renegotiating for next, something which may make some of those players decide to look elsewhere.

Halifax say they hope to avoid a mass exodus part way through the season and a statement from the board said: "A way forward was agreed to take the club through the remaining part of the season... It is hoped, as a consequence, that there will be no enforced departures from the club."

Some players, like the half-backs Chris Chester and Gavin Clinch, have already been linked with other clubs, while their coach, John Pendlebury, is assessing his own future.

The club is also setting up a voluntary arrangement with its creditors, which it hopes will give it some breathing space for restructuring and re-financing its struggling operation.

Meanwhile, Wakefield Trinity's playing and coaching staff say that they are putting doubts about their Super League funding for next season out of their minds as they embark on their second round of matches in the competition this weekend.

Trinity have played everyone once and their haul of 10 points has exceeded all expectations, but a vote by clubs outside Super League - from whom part of their funding comes - not to support them next year has put a cloud over the club's future.

"There were so many negative forecasts for the club at the start of the season and now they are really having to dig deep to put a negative edge on it," said Wakefield's coach, Andy Kelly.

"It's got less to do with football and more to do with the politics of the game. There is a long way to go before we even begin to think about next season, so we will be concentrating on the job in hand."

Leeds have become the first club to appoint a customer services manager. He is Danny Reuben, previously the media and public relations manager at the club.

Great Britain will avoid having to face one of their greatest tormentors of recent years when they play against Australia this autumn. Laurie Daly has announced his retirement from representative rugby, because of persistent knee problems.

He joins Steve Renouf and Allan Langer - who has retired completely - in bowing out of contention for the Australian team.