RUGBY LEAGUE: Shadow cast over Broncos' best win soured by rumours

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THE LONDON BRONCOS' best Super League result of the season has come while they are trying to stop their squad for next year from unravelling.

London beat St Helens 24-22 on Sunday - the first time a club from the capital has defeated Saints in almost 20 years of trying - but that triumph is being accompanied by rumbles of dissatisfaction among the players.

The New Zealand Test prop, Grant Young, out for most of this season with a broken leg, has already said that he is returning to his home in Brisbane and will not play for the club again, because of his disappointment with the deal he has been offered for next season.

Of the squad that won at Knowsley Road, Martin Offiah, Robbie Simpson and Greg Fleming are also thought unlikely to be with the club next season as the Broncos try to control their wage bill.

"There is a difference of valuation with Grant," admitted the Broncos' chief executive, Tony Rea. "But we're comfortable about keeping the others. There's no mass exodus."

Of more immediate concern is the price paid in terms of injuries for the win at Saints. Offiah, Simpson and Mat Toshack, who was carried off in a neck-brace, are all out of the side to play at Wigan tomorrow.

Warrington's Ian Knott has been cited to appear at the Rugby League over a striking charge after an incident during their draw with Wigan on Sunday that angered the Wigan coach, Andy Goodway.

Widnes have been told to expect a decision on their application for Super League status at the end of this week. Along with proposed clubs in new areas, Widnes have had their bid examined by the Rugby League and Super League. "I'm hopeful because we've put in a cracking good bid," said the club's chairman, Tony Chambers. "If we were from Windsor or Wimbledon I would be totally confident."

Super League is furious at a leak linking the former chief executive of the Football Association, Graham Kelly, with the job of managing director which will be vacated by Maurice Lindsay later this year. "We will not comment on speculation," a Super League spokesman said.

The BBC is to pay pounds 8.5m for the exclusive live rights to televise the Challenge Cup over the next five years. Mike Miller, the controller for television sport, described the Cup as one of the BBC's "landmark sporting events".