Rugby League: Trinity close on Davies

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WAKEFIELD TRINITY will know tonight whether they can put together a sponsorship deal that could bring Jonathan Davies to Belle Vue, writes Dave Hadfield.

Davies and his chairman at Widnes, Jim Mills, met Trinity at the weekend. 'Jonathan had done his research on the club and on the calibre of young player that we have here. He certainly did nothing to discourage us from continuing to try to put a package together that would bring him to Wakefield,' the Trinity chairman, Rodney Walker, said.

The club has secured 40 per cent of the money it needs from local businessmen. A national firm will give an answer today on whether it will stand the remaining 60 per cent. 'If the answer is no, there is no way that we can go ahead,' Walker said. 'But we are determined to explore ways in which we can bring international- class players to Wakefield.'

The proposed arrangement is reminiscent of the one which brought Wally Lewis to the club in 1984. Lewis increased gates sharply, but memories of that deal will ring warning bells at Trinity. One of the sponsors behind his signing failed to pay up, and Lewis's wages caused dissatisfaction among his team-mates.

Wakefield believe they will be able to sign the 30-year-old former Welsh rugby union captain for a modest fee in the region of pounds 50,000 to pounds 70,000. It is the contract that he will expect - and which Widnes can no longer support - that will be the major expense.

Davies, an outstanding success in rugby league since signing for Widnes four years ago, was back in the club's squad at Salford last night for the first time since a groin operation.

The Regal Trophy final on 23 January will be staged at Elland Road, Leeds.