Rugby League: Newlove told to play out contract

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The Independent Online
Paul Newlove has been told he must knuckle down and play out his contract with the Bradford Bulls - starting with tonight's match against St Helens, the club he wants to join.

Newlove this week turned down a world record move to Wigan, and Bradford say they are no longer in negotiation with any would-be buyer. "We have been told by Paul's advisor that he was not prepared to play for the club which made an acceptable offer," Bradford's coach and chief executive, Brian Smith, said.

"The club where he wants to go has not been able to put an acceptable proposal together."

Smith has named Newlove at centre for tonight's game at Odsal. "I expect him to be professional enough to get on with the job," he said.

The 19-year-old New Zealander, Robbie Paul, will be at scrum-half, in place of one Great Britain international who has left Bradford this week - Deryck Fox, now back with his first club, Featherstone.

Matt Calland, the centre who came in the opposite direction in that deal, will not be able to make his debut. He was suspended for two matches last night after being sent off for a high tackle against Huddersfield - his first match back after serving another ban.

Greg Mackey, Warrington's scrum-half and captain, is to return home to Australia with a year of his contract still remaining. Mackey, now 34, has asked to be released from his second spell with Warrington after losing his first-team place to the club's new signing from the South Queensland Crushers, Mike Ford, and being offered a job.

Warrington have signed the Auckland Warriors utility back, Manoa Thompson, on a two-year contract. Thompson was kept out of Fiji's World Cup squad by injury.

The warring factions in Australia could be drawing together with a meeting between Super League and the Australian Rugby League to discuss a possible compromise. The two sides, currently embroiled in a court case over Super League's attempted break-away, are planning to run rival competitions next season.

Oldham have opened talks with Oldham Athletic about the use of Boundary Park for Super League games next summer.