Rugby league: Moment of truth for Swansea League bid

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The Independent Online
SWANSEA'S BID for a place in Super League next season faces a moment of truth today when the city's council considers a planning application for a stadium and retail park.

Although Swansea have long considered themselves front-runners for a South Wales franchise for 1999, failure by Silver Shield, who already control Swansea City, to get the go-ahead for the pounds 75m development will throw the bid into doubt.

Named the Black Swans they would play at the Vetch Field until the new stadium at Morfa is built. But that is now a deteriorating ground and a prolonged stay there could only weaken Swansea's case.

The rival bidders at Cardiff, by contrast, have immediate access to the rugby union club's 14,000 capacity ground at the Arms Park, with an option to move to the new stadium at Cardiff Bay when it is built.

"I know what Swansea has to offer and to say that I would be mystified if their bid was considered superior to ours would be a serious understatement," said the Cardiff Dragons' prospective chief executive, Peter Tunks. "It is not something we could take lying down."

The two Welsh bidders, plus the applicants from Gateshead and Glasgow, are to be invited to address a meeting of Super League chief executives on 22 June, although the question of who will have the last word on which of them get the go-ahead is yet to be resolved.

Simon Haughton is out of Wigan's side at Bradford tonight because of a knee injury that needs surgery. A target for the injury-hit Bulls, Alan Hunte, has said that he is staying at Hull.

The Bradford captain, Graeme Bradley, will miss that match after being sent off for careless use of the elbow at Warrington on Sunday.

Leigh have failed in an effort to bring the former Widnes and Great Britain centre, Darren Wright, to his home-town club.

Shaun Edwards, the Bradford Bulls, England and Great Britain half-back, has opted to play for Ireland in the end of season international triangular tournament.

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