Rugby League: Hanley negotiating return to work

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The Independent Online
ELLERY HANLEY and St Helens spent most of yesterday locked in legal negotiations over the terms of a possible return to work.

Hanley, suspended on full pay since a series of outbursts against the club's board, has insisted all along that he wants to go back to his job as coach of one of the game's leading clubs.

Lawyers on both sides spent more than seven hours trying to thrash out a formula that would enable him to do that, with everyone's pride somehow kept intact. Fans demonstrated their support for Hanley at Sunday's game against Hull, leaving the board in an even more difficult position.

Wigan's Australian stand-off, Greg Florimo, has declared himself available to play for Italy in the Mediterranean Cup tournament in November that will act as a stepping stone to next year's World Cup.

Italy will meet Lebanon and Morocco for the right to play the winners of another qualifying group comprising Japan, Canada and the United States for the 16th place in the World Cup - a game that could be played in England or, if a new proposal is accepted, in Philadelphia - and Florimo's Italian ancestry would make him an important addition to their side.

Florimo has been added to Wigan's squad to play Sheffield tonight after being rested from the team beaten at Castleford last Friday. Tony Mestrov, who was also left out, and Simon Haughton, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, have also been included.

Sheffield's Karl Lovell, who was called to the Rugby League to answer a charge of striking an opponent late with a fore-arm, will miss the match, having received a three-game suspension after being found guilty of using his elbow in an ill-tempered 24-6 win over Wakefield.

Wakefield's Glen Tomlinson was sent off in the same match and has been banned for two games for foul and abusive language. The whole stormy pattern of the game is the subject of an inquiry headed by the League's referees' chief, Greg McCallum.

Peter Gill, of the London Broncos, has been banned for one match and fined pounds 200 after being found guilty of a careless high tackle during their 28-14 defeat by Warrington last Sunday.

Workington Town, who are releasing the former Wigan forward Andy Platt from his coaching contract, have appointed Gary Murdock in his place.

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