Rugby League: Tribunal puts price on head of Jackson

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The Independent Online
Sheffield and Halifax step into the unknown today with the game's first "take it or leave it" transfer tribunals. A panel in Leeds will put a price on the head of Halifax's Great Britain forward, Michael Jackson, but, for the first time, Sheffield have the option of walking away if they do not agree with the valuation.

St Helens also have an appointment to find out how much they must pay for Castleford's Chris Smith, but have said that they will abide by it, whatever the figure.

The new system is designed to break the impasse for players who want to move, but Jackson - capped six times as a second-rower - could still be a Halifax player following this afternoon's hearing.

"He would be a very important signing for us, but we are not prepared to pay more than we can afford," said the Eagles' coach, John Kear.

Sheffield also hope to sign a stand-off before next Monday's Challenge Cup deadline, with Leeds the focus of their attentions. The club has long been linked with the transfer-listed Graham Holroyd, but Kear said that he was particularly impressed with the former New Zealand stand-off, Tony Kemp, in the friendly between the two sides last weekend.

Sheffield have made inquiries for both players and the prospects of Leeds letting one of them leave improved considerably with their own signing yesterday of the Australian utility back, Brad Godden.

Godden, who played for the new Leeds coach, Graham Murray, at the Hunter Mariners and was a member of Australia's World Cup squad in 1992, can play at stand-off as well as his more usual positions of full-back and centre.

Godden has agreed a two-year contract and will arrive at Headingley shortly to complete Leeds' overseas quota.

Super League Europe has further beefed up its operation by recruiting the former Auckland Warriors chief executive, Ian Robson, as public relations and marketing executive.