Rugby League: Payment of fine leaves Gregory on a warning

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The Independent Online
ANDY GREGORY, the Salford coach, escaped further punishment by the League yesterday when he finally paid an outstanding pounds 1,000 fine. The former Wigan, Widnes and Great Britain scrum-half was ordered to appear before the League's board of directors after failing to pay the fine, imposed for comments he made to the referee Steve Ganson in May.

He faced the possibility of having to pay an additional pounds 1,500, which was suspended at the time of the first hearing but the directors let him off with a warning.

However, he is still in trouble with the administration after being accused of making further disparaging comments to another referee, Karl Kirkpatrick, during his club's defeat by Leeds last month. That matter will be heard by the disciplinary panel and Gregory, who is already banned from the touchline for the rest of the season, could face the threat of suspension.

In a statement, the RFL's media manager, Peter Rowe, said: "The board listened to representation from Mr Gregory regarding his personal circumstances and decided to impose no additional penalty.

"However, he was strongly warned by the chairman about his future conduct and was given advice about how to conduct himself in the future. A further accusation of referee abuse during the Salford-Leeds match was deferred to a future meeting of the RFL's disciplinary sub-committee when witnesses will be called."

Oldham sacked their coach Paddy Kirwan yesterday with only three games remaining in their Second Division campaign. Kirwan, 37, who was not under contract, makes way for assistant Mick Coates, who will take charge for the last three games.

The decision of the four-man board was taken following Sunday's 17-2 defeat at Batley, which damaged the club's hopes of promotion.

The new Gateshead franchise is poised to name Shaun McRae and Kerrod Walters as its inaugural coach and captain respectively. McRae, the current St Helens coach who has been told his contract is not being renewed, has been the new club's first choice to guide it through its formative period. His three years at Saints brought two Challenge Cups and the first Super League title.

McRae has also worked alongside Walters with the Australian squad. The 30-year-old former Brisbane Broncos hooker has won eight caps for his country and will be the first of at least a dozen signings from Australia.