Rugby League: Hunte looks to leave St Helens

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The Independent Online
Alan Hunte is preparing for the deciding third British Gas Test with Australia on Sunday against the background of a possible move from the club at which he has spent virtually all his professional career.

Hunte has put in a second transfer request in two months to St Helens and has said that, unless things change at the club, he wants to leave.

Newly-promoted Hull have already shown interest in the wing or centre, as they have in his St Helens team-mates Steve Prescott and Simon Booth, and Hunte said that he would not be averse to the move despite his eight and a half years at Knowsley Road.

"There is a situation involving the running of the club which I am not prepared to be specific about, but which does not involve the coaching staff or the players," he said.

"The club and I need to sit down with each other and talk about it, because unless it is resolved I think I would be happier playing somewhere else."

Nothing is likely to happen until after Sunday's Test, but Hunte is adamant that the uncertainty over his future will not affect his concentration on the job in hand.

"It's not going to take my mind off the match," he said. "Spending half an hour talking about this is just like watching an episode of Coronation Street to me. As soon as I get out on the pitch again, I'll just put it completely out of my mind." Hunte did not train with the rest of the Great Britain squad at South Leeds Stadium yesterday because of a twinge in his back, but he is in no doubt for Sunday.

His coach, Andy Goodway, was contemplating one possible tactical switch before naming his side today, the option of moving Chris Joynt up to prop and bringing in Simon Haughton.

Australia took a day off yesterday. Their only worry is a stomach bug that was affecting Bradley Clyde, Ryan Girdler and Brett Mullins. All three are expected to be healthy in time to play at Elland Road.

Jackie Sheldon has been appointed as the first national development officer for women's rugby league.

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