Rugby League: Stains suffers removal as London coach

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DAN STAINS, who took London Broncos to their first-ever Wembley appearance last month, yesterday paid the price for the club's woeful Super League form when he was replaced as coach.

The Broncos announced that Stains was leaving the club by mutual agreement, less than 24 hours after the team crashed 74-12 at Bradford.

Stains' assistant coach, Les Kiss, a fellow Australian, and the club's chief executive, Tony Rea, will be in joint charge for the rest of the season.

Stains was appointed as successor to Tony Currie last November and he steered the club to their first major final, before the wheels came off big style. They suffered a record 52-16 Challenge Cup final defeat by Leeds and went nine Super League matches without a win until snatching a 21-20 success at Huddersfield last Sunday. Any euphoria quickly evaporated during Wednesday night's 13-try rout at Odsal.

London, who are fourth from bottom of the table, said in a statement of Kiss and Rea: "With like-minded attitudes and thoughts on the game, they're confident of getting the best out of the players for the future to ensure that the club moves up the Super League ladder."

The Rugby League is to extend its hard line on the public criticism of referees to clamp down on other post-match outbursts by coaches.

Castleford's Stuart Raper has been warned about his future conduct after his remarks following the defeat at Wakefield last Sunday, in which he criticised the Trinity captain, Tony Kemp - since suspended for two matches for a high tackle - and claimed that his own injured captain, Adrian Vowles, had to be restrained from seeking retribution.

In future, coaches can be fined for comments, particularly attacks on opponents, deemed to be detrimental to the game.

Wigan are still without Andy Farrell for tonight's key Super League game at home to Leeds. Denis Betts continues to stand in as loose forward and captain.

For Leeds, prop Darren Fleary returns with Anthony Farrell dropping back to the second-row and Andy Hay to the bench.

Halifax are to appeal against Jamie Bloem's three-month ban for biting.