Rugby League: Martyn has more cause to celebrate

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The Independent Online
Tommy Martyn, St Helens' man of the match in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup final, has two further reasons for reflecting that this has not been a bad week.

Martyn, who won the Lance Todd trophy for his outstanding display at Wembley, has been told that he has no case to answer over a suspected dangerous tackle for which he was placed on report.

Saints have also revealed that they plan to improve his contract at the club. Martyn and the Great Britain tour full-back, Steve Prescott, are among the lowest paid first-teamers at Knowsley Road and Prescott has been on the transfer list since the end of last season.

Saints have been determined to keep their wage bill within bounds that they can afford, but their chief executive, David Howes, said that the deals for both players would now be renegotiated.

The choice of a new Great Britain coach is to be delayed. Phil Larder's contract finishes at the end of this month, but the league's director of development, Joe Lydon, who will have a big say in the appointment, wants to see how candidates fare against Australasian opposition in the World Club Championship matches, which start next month.

He said: "While it would be nice to have the coaches in place quickly so that we can get a squad together, it would be foolish not to take the opportunity of seeing how the coaches perform in the World Club Championship," Lydon said.

The Salford coach, Andy Gregory, whose side have enhanced his reputation with their form in Super League, has been regarded as the front runner for the job, which will start with a tour by Australia in October and November, but Lydon has stressed that no decisions have yet been made.

"I envisage coming up with something towards the end of July, with an appointment perhaps in early August," he said.

Andy Goodway, who would until recently have been seen as a contender, but who was sacked by Oldham last month, has had informal talks with the Wigan coach, Eric Hughes, about playing a part at Central Park. The Wigan chairman, Jack Robinson, said it was unlikely, however, that Goodway would be joining them.