Rugby League: Hanley believes he can tame volatile Trindall

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ST HELENS have completed the signing of South Sydney's mercurial scrum-half, Darrell Trindall, whose nickname of "Tricky" sums up the problems of handling him off the pitch as much as his elusiveness on it.

Trindall, aged 27, has been sent off five times and has run into disciplinary problems away from the field of play as well, but the Saints coach, Ellery Hanley, clearly believes he can get the best from him.

As a specialist No 7, Trindall's arrival points to last year's Super League player of the year, Sean Long, spending more time at stand-off next season, which in turn puts pressure on Tommy Martyn's position in the side.

Trindall, who is moving on before the fate of South Sydney's appeal against their exclusion from the National Rugby League is known, is the second overseas player, after Auckland's Bryan Henare, to join the Super League champions during the close season.

Both could make their debuts in the Boxing Day derby at Wigan - a match from which Saints' Great Britain hooker, Keiron Cunningham, is likely to be an absentee after an elbow operation yesterday. He is one of five St Helens players to have major surgery this winter and is predicted to be out for six weeks.

A decision is expected soon on whether Sean Hoppe or Des Clark, both of whom spent the latter stages of last season on short-term contracts at Saints, will be retained.

Wigan must pay Leeds more than three times their original offer for their hooker, Terry Newton, a Rugby League tribunal has ruled. Wigan had offered pounds 40,000, but must pay an initial fee of pounds 90,000, possibly rising to a maximum of pounds 145,000 in a series of increments if Newton plays for England and Great Britain.

London Broncos, who signed Jon Clarke and Andy Johnson from Wigan earlier this week, have not given up hope of persuading the Australian centre or wing, Danny Moore, to follow the same route by joining them.

Moore, a first-team regular at Wigan for the past two years, has already rejected a move to the Broncos, but the signings of Steve Renouf and Brett Dallas make his first-team opportunities next year look distinctly limited.

The Melbourne Storm have warned Wigan off their coach, Chris Anderson, one of the men linked with the vacant job at the JJB Stadium. The chief executive of the Australian champions, who come to Britain to play St Helens at the JJB in January, Chris Johns, said that Anderson, who is also the current Australian Test coach, would not be joining Wigan.

"Chris is contracted to us for another three years and Wigan know that," he said. "It is a media fabrication."

The Wigan chairman, Maurice Lindsay, expects to make an announcement next week, with the former Australian scrum-half, Mark Murray, the latest to be mentioned in connection with the post.

Salford are lining up Warrington's John Duffy as cover for both half- back positions and the last piece in their recruitment jigsaw for the 2000 season.

Bradford have signed a three-year kit sponsorship deal with the leisurewear company, Joe Bloggs.