Rugby League: Keighley's S Africa tour

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KEIGHLEY, who need just one point against Batley on Friday to become Third Division champions, plan to be the first English club to tour South Africa since the revival of the game there, writes Dave Hadfield.

They are to visit for two weeks in July, playing three or four games, probably in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Keighley coach, Peter Roe, had originally hoped to take an invitation team of black players to help in the code's development, but has been forced to reconsider. 'Some of the coloured players who were originally keen on the idea have had second thoughts because of the political situation,' he said. 'It's debatable whether a tour by a club side will be of as much benefit to rugby league in South Africa, but it will certainly be a good thing for Keighley.'

The restructuring of the League, and the extra games it will mean for Keighley next season, had threatened this tour as well, but Roe now believes it will be good preparation for the domestic programme.

In another international development, a Moscow schoolboys team are about to visit England, playing games in Hull this Sunday and Wigan on Tuesday.

Wigan have problems in their front row for the key First Division match against St Helens on Friday. Andy Platt's shoulder injury last Sunday means that he will join Kelvin Skerrett on the sidelines. Neil Cowie and Ian Gildart will deputise at prop, but there is also a doubt about Andrew Farrar's ankle.