Rugby League: Langer signs for Wolves

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The Independent Online
WARRINGTON HAVE succeeded in signing one of the truly great players of the 1990s, the Australian Test scrum-half, Alan Langer, on a two-year deal.

Langer, who retired halfway through this season with the Brisbane Broncos, will join the Wolves in the new year. "It's a fantastic signing for ourselves, for the town of Warrington and for the game in this country," said the club's chief executive, Peter Deakin. "He has been the best half-back in the world for the last 10 years."

Deakin paid tribute to the Warrington coach, Darryl van de Velde, whose long friendship with the player was a factor, along with the recent signing of his Brisbane team-mate, Andrew Gee, in bringing him to Wilderspool.

"He is a great acquisition," Van de Velde said. "Alan is a top-line player who has captained Australia, Queensland and Brisbane. He's a player of exceptional quality, both on and off the field."

Warrington were the first to move for the 33-year-old Langer when he announced earlier this month that he wanted to come out of his short-lived retirement and play in England, but they feared, on the basis of reports from Australia, that they might lose out to Wigan.

The Super League champions were reported to have out-bid Warrington for his services, something they have since denied.

Two Leeds players are to appear at the Rugby League on charges following incidents in their victory at Gateshead on Sunday night. Terry Newton was reported for striking an opponent, while Anthony Farrell has been cited on video evidence for a high tackle.

That latter incident, which left the Gateshead winger, Matt Daylight, apparently concussed, was the subject of a bitter difference of opinion between the two coaches after the match.

The Thunder coach, Shaun McRae, said that he was surprised Farrell had stayed on the field and hoped that the League would review the tackle, whilst his opposite number, Graham Murray, accused Gateshead of deliberately running in to the ground to try to make it impossible to tackle them legally.

"Their priority is to dive for the ground," Murray said. "If you are teaching players to do that I'm concerned for the game.

"I like my players to run tall and strong so it becomes man against man. You can have a shot at them and they can have a shot at you.

"But this is a problem and I'm glad I get the opportunity to raise it as a winning coach.

McRae replied that: "Every team does it. It's a form of attack.

"If you're being hit with high shots what are you meant to do? Run around with your head in the air and get it taken off? I'm confident that we play to the rules as they are written."

The Rugby League Council will vote today on proposals to return professional Rugby League to the winter by starting next season's Northern Ford Premiership in December.

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