Rugby League: Hanley defends himself

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The Independent Online
ELLERY HANLEY, coach of Super League leaders St Helens, has acted to clear up confusion over "forgotten man" Phil Adamson.

The former Penrith Panthers forward, who was signed before the arrival of Hanley at Knowsley Road last summer, has yet to start a first team match and is currently turning out for the club's Under-21 side.

"I have no grouse with Phil Adamson, but my point is that I didn't sign him," said Hanley. "Phil is working hard and continuing to play in the Under-21s.

"There was an article in the London Broncos programme recently that said my first signing was Phil Adamson, but Eric Hughes [the coach between 1994-96] signed Phil Adamson. I had nothing to do with him coming to the club. I wasn't even at the club when he was signed."

Hanley has stopped his regular column in the club's match-day programme after they refused to clear up the situation over the signing of the Australian player.

"Everywhere I go in St Helens, whether it's Asda or the local shop, I shouldn't have to explain to every spectator that I didn't sign Phil Adamson," the former Wigan and Great Britain captain and coach said. "I feel very strongly about this. I gave Eric Hughes a chance to put the record straight in the next programme, but he didn't. That's why my column doesn't appear any more. I want the public to know the truth. I try and be honest. The St Helens spectators shouldn't be led astray."

Hanley, who is on a two-year contract, has enjoyed instant success on the field with St Helens, but clearly feels unhappy about some aspects of the club administration.

He added: "I don't think at this moment it is appropriate to talk about it, other than to say there are improvements that can be made in all departments at St Helens."

Australian captain Brad Fittler has escaped an A$5,000 (pounds 2,080) fine following a drunken night out. Fittler was left outside a Sydney police station by a taxi driver.

"In the light of the comprehensive submissions, of Brad's expressed regret at the incident ... the NRL will not pursue a proposed fine in a recent breach notice," the National Rugby League said in a statement. The NRL said it did not condone Fittler's conduct but that each incident must be examined on its merits.

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