Rugby League: NZ clubs under attack: Disquiet over player exodus

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The Independent Online
SIX First Division coaches are to meet the Rugby League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, next week to air concerns over continuing player raids from the southern hemisphere, writes Dave Hadfield.

John Dorahy, Wigan's coach, is to raise the issue of Winfield Cup clubs signing British-based players. Dorahy is worried by reports that agreed levels of compensation do not apply to New Zealanders returning home. The British League believes that the top rate of pounds 70,000 for a current international should apply.

Wigan are also claiming that the Auckland Warriors should pay a fee for Dean Bell, the club captain who was, coincidentally, seeing a specialist yesterday about a groin injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

Wigan have Frano Botica back for tonight's game at Leeds, but Sam Panapa and Martin Dermott are out, with Mick Cassidy filling in at hooker. Billy McGinty is in the squad for the first time since last March after three reserve games, and Nigel Wright also returns from injury.

Simon Irving, sent off for a high tackle last week, is left out of the Leeds side but Kevin Iro returns in the centre.