Rugby League: Hull KR peace formula

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The Independent Online
THE players and directors of Hull Kingston Rovers believe that they have found a peace formula in the dispute over bonus payments that led to the first-team squad going on strike for the match at Leigh on Sunday.

After a meeting at Craven Park last night, the two sides issued a joint statement, saying that they were both 'confident that a full quota of players would be available' for this weekend when Rovers are due to play Warrington at home unless their opponents are involved in a Regal Trophy third-round tie.

The players' spokesman and club captain, Wayne Parker, said: 'They have made us a new offer and the players are thinking about it. There may well be an agreement.' He denied that there was any resentment towards the players who did turn out in a creditable 31-24 defeat. 'They were players who were under contract and would have been taken to court, or young players, who can't be blamed for wanting to play.'

The career of Andy Goodway, who broke his left arm playing for Leeds against Sheffield on Sunday, could be under threat. Goodway, who is now 31, twice broke his other arm playing for Wigan. He missed virtually all of last season after the second break, in the Charity Shield against Hull, before joining Leeds this August.

His injury represents the fourth stroke of bad luck with his summer signings for Doug Laughton, the club's beleaguered coach. Gary Mercer, Andy Gregory and Kevin Iro have all spent long periods out of the game while the side have slipped into the bottom three in the First Division.

Garry Schofield, the Great Britain captain, is still hoping to work out a compromise with Leeds that would allow him to play for Manly this summer. Leeds have refused permission for Schofield to take up the Australian club's offer, arguing that the player, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, needs a break from rugby.

Richard Gunn, the former Leeds player who signed for Featherstone Rovers this season and was appointed captain, will be out for two months with a broken ankle.

Anthony Sullivan has joined an illustrious list of absentees at St Helens after suffering a leg injury in Wales's victory over France in Perpignan on Sunday. He will miss several matches, starting with the Regal Trophy third-round tie against Castleford on Saturday.

The Rugby League Council is expected to give its approval today to a return to a two-division structure for the game after just two years of three divisions.

The meeting will also consider amendments to proposals that the county cups should become voluntary midweek competitions. The final decision will be made by a special meeting of clubs on 5 January.