Rugby League: Mixed news for Larder

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(First Edition)

PHIL LARDER, the Widnes coach, received one piece of news to lighten the pre-season gloom yesterday when Bobby Goulding agreed a new, one-season contract, writes Dave Hadfield. But it is likely to be back to normal for Larder, who has seen six players depart during the close season, with the further loss of Andy Currier and Richie Eyres.

The Widnes committee was discussing Featherstone Rovers' offer for Currier, the Great Britain centre, last night. 'I will fight very hard to keep him, but it does not look very hopeful,' Larder said. Leeds are set to sign Eyres, the Great Britain second row forward, this week.

That would be a severe extra blow to Larder, who has already lost Phil McKenzie, Les Holliday, Kurt Sorensen, Chris Ashurst and David Marsh sold as part of the continuing bid to balance the Widnes books. 'Any coach would be disgruntled about losing six players like that, but I'm delighted that Bobby has signed again,' Larder said.