Rugby League: Pilgrim promoted by Leeds

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STEVE PILGRIM, the Wasps and England B full-back banned from rugby union after playing in reserve-team trials for Leeds, is to make his first-team debut tonight.

The 25-year-old Pilgrim will play at Widnes, still as an amateur trialist, in a much-changed side following Leeds' Challenge Cup semi-final humiliation by the same opponents last weekend.

'Steve played very well in the Alliance team against St Helens, but I want one more look at him before I make my mind up,' the Leeds coach, Doug Laughton, said.

Four of the five clubs threatened with expulsion from the Third Division have set up a fighting fund to finance legal action against the Rugby League. Chorley Borough, Highfield, Blackpool Gladiators and Nottingham met in Chorley on Monday and agreed to set up a joint fund.

Barrow, who voted in favour of three clubs being demoted into the Second Division of the Alliance League at the end of this season but could themselves face that prospect, did not attend.

Lindsay Hoyle, Chorley's chairman, has written to the League arguing that the decision is unlawful. 'The ball is now in their court, but if we have to take legal action it will be expensive,' he said. If they are not needed for legal fees, donations will be diverted to a fund for development and injured players.

Nigel Heslop, Oldham's former England rugby union winger, is likely to miss the rest of the season after learning that his jaw was broken during Sunday's game against Featherstone Rovers.

The bunker mentality, page 38