Rugby League: Salford hope to lure back Langer

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The Independent Online
SALFORD ARE to attempt to lure Allan Langer out of retirement, a matter of days after his announcement that he was finished with the game.

The Brisbane and Australia scrum-half announced his retirement on Tuesday because he felt that his form had slipped but Salford, without a win in Super League this season, hope that they can rekindle his enthusiasm.

The Salford coach, Andy Gregory, is a long-standing friend and admirer of Langer and believes that he could be the man to lift his struggling side. A representative of the club is making attempts to contact the player in Queensland.

The London Broncos tried to sign Langer at the start of this season, before he extended his contract with Brisbane, but have denied that they might revive their interest.

"If he is saying that he has lost his enthusiasm for the game, then we wouldn't be trying to dissuade him," their chief executive, Tony Rea, said. "We are very happy with our situation in the half-backs."

London's current scrum-half and captain, Shaun Edwards, has come through two training sessions after insisting that he is fit to play in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup final tomorrow, despite having a broken thumb. "Shaun trained in a cast and looked sensational," the Broncos' coach, Dan Stains, said, adding that he was confident that Edwards would get through the match.

"My doubts were never about that," he said. "It was a question of whether there would be any long-term damage."

Ticket sales for the final have topped the 70,000 mark, raising hopes of a 77,000 sell-out but definitely improving on last year's relatively meagre 60,000 to see Sheffield beat Wigan. London have sold 13,500 of their 15,000 allocation, Rea said.

Each of the 23 clubs to have reached the final in the last 70 years will have five representatives in a parade to mark the last final before Wembley is demolished, and the Dewsbury party will include a direct link with the Challenge Cup's debut at the stadium in 1929.

Tom Coates, aged 11, is the grandson of Henry Coates, who played in the Dewsbury team beaten 13-2 by Wigan that day. Other great names from past finals include David Topliss and Ian Brooke from Wakefield Trinity, Roger Millward of Hull KR, Austin Rhodes of St Helens, Russ Pepperell, who captained Huddersfield in 1953, and Trevor Foster, who played for Bradford Northern in 1949.

Bradford's Odsal Stadium is to undergo a pounds 80m redevelopment to turn it into a smaller version of the Stadium of Light. Bradford Council, which owns the ground, has given the green light to plans from Sterling Capitol, headed by the Sunderland chairman, Bill Murray, to create a 30,000, all- seater stadium on the site.

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