Rugby League: Simms to continue at Leigh

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

STEVE SIMMS, the Leigh coach, has put himself out of the running for the positions at Wigan and Castleford by signing a new three-year contract with the club.

The Australian, from South Sydney, who has presided over a vast improvement in Leigh's results since he arrived in November, had been interviewed by Wigan and Castleford and offered a post by another First Division side.

'I never wanted to leave Leigh and only applied for other jobs because of their uncertainty about the future,' Simms said. 'If they can get their problems over the ownership of their ground sorted out, the potential here is limitless. Even if they lose the ground, there will still be a team and they will still need a coach.'

Keighley, winners of what, for the moment, will be the last Third Division championship, begin their attempt to reach Old Trafford in the Divisional Premiership by playing Hunslet at the home they now call Cougar Park.

Keighley will be without Joe Grima, their prop forward and captain, for the whole play-off series if they progress that far. Grima has been suspended for four matches after being sent off for striking an opponent in the match against Batley on Good Friday. Batley's Jimmy Irvine has also received a ban of four matches for a similar offence in the same game.

The so-called Fighting Four - the lowly Third Division clubs, three of whom are faced with expulsion from the league for next season - had another meeting with the Rugby League yesterday.

If they fail to reach a compromise at the meeting, Highfield, Chorley, Blackpool and Nottingham will press ahead with a High Court injunction against the League.

Chorley's players are to pursue a separate case against the League, claiming that the decision to throw the club out has effectively put them out of work.