Rugby League / Iro signs full-time at Leeds

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The Independent Online
LEEDS have continued the most ambitious team-building programme ever attempted by a British club with the signing of the New Zealand and former Wigan centre, Kevin Iro.

Iro has spent the two seasons since leaving Wigan playing for the Sydney club, Manly. The two-year contract he has agreed with Leeds will make him a full-time Leeds player.

'It is our understanding that he does not want to play in Australia again in the immediate future,' the Leeds general manager, Mike Dooley, said. 'He has one or two business matters to sort out in Sydney but we hope to have him here in 10 days or so.'

Iro, still only 24, spent four stunningly successful seasons with Wigan before moving to Australia. There will be no shortage of familiar faces at Headingley, as four of his former Wigan team-mates - Ellery Hanley, Andy Gregory, Andy Goodway and Shaun Wane - are already there.

His arrival means that Leeds will farm out another Kiwi international, Morvin Edwards, to another British club. Leeds will try to make some long-term arrangement to allow them to claim him back in the future.

The Widnes winger, John Devereux, is out of tonight's match at Hull KR, after being suspended for two games for use of the elbow. Keith England, of Castleford, sent off for punching in the same incident on Sunday, has also been given a two-match ban.

The Widnes coach, Phil Larder, is planning a change in his front row for tonight's match, with either Richard Eyres or Paul Hulme propping, despite being on the light side for the job, and Esene Faimalo starting on the bench.

The Rovers manager, George Fairbairn, has a slight injury doubt over his winger, Bright Sodje. He took a knock to the thigh in Sunday's creditable win over Salford, but Fairbairn expects him to be fit.

Still missing, however, is the Great Britain tourist, Graeme Hallas, who is staying away from training and insisting that he wants a transfer. 'Obviously, we would like a player of Graeme's calibre back, but I can't drag him to training,' Fairbairn said.

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