Rugby League: Salford offer Offiah a new lease of life

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The Independent Online
SALFORD ARE to bring Martin Offiah, the game's most prolific try-scorer, back to the north of England, where he cut a swathe with Widnes and Wigan.

Offiah, now 33, has spent the past four seasons with the London Broncos, but with diminishing returns. He played at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final in May, but his form and fitness later deteriorated to the point where he could not hold down a first-team place and was released by the club at the end of last season.

That is a far cry from his glorious peak both at Naughton Park and Central Park when he topped the try-scoring tables six times and became the game's most expensive player. His tries at London have since placed him third - and the leading Englishman - in the all-time list.

Offiah, capped 33 times by Great Britain, has been looking for a new club since being released and Warrington decided against meeting his terms. Salford, who struggled for fire-power in Super League last season, will be counting on him still possessing enough of his old predatory instinct intact for next season.

Salford, who have enlisted Offiah on a two-year deal, have also been linked with the former Great Britain scrum-half, Bobbie Goulding, who is not wanted - on his terms - by the newly merged Huddersfield-Sheffield club.

London have confirmed that they are to leave The Stoop to move back to Charlton Athletic's ground, The Valley, next season, but have said that they will not explain their full reasons for returning to the south London football club until next week.

Leeds have promoted the former Sheffield forward, Mick Cook, to be their head of youth development, in succession to Dean Bell, who has joined Wigan as football manager.

Warrington have signed two players, the stand-off Steve Blakeley from Salford and wing Neil Carsley from Lancashire Lynx. Leigh have recruited Alan Cross, a centre from St Helens' Alliance side, while Castleford have re-signed the second-rower, Lee Harland, on a one-year contract.

The organisers of next year's World Cup are to announce dates for the tournament's 31 matches today. The venues for the games will not be finalised until the New Year, because of the need to reach agreement with the BBC and Sky, who are sharing television coverage of the Lincoln Financial Group-sponsored event. Lebanon are to celebrate reaching the World Cup by playing a warm-up game in Beirut next year

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