Rugby League: Widnes place Eyres on the transfer list

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WIDNES last night put their Great Britain forward Richie Eyres on the transfer list at pounds 350,000.

The 26-year-old back row has been made available after rejecting a new deal at Naughton Park. He would become the fourth big name to leave Widnes in the last 18 months following the departures of Martin Offiah, Alan Tait and Jonathan Davies, the Welshman who went to Warrington last week.

The Widnes chairman, Jim Mills, said: 'We don't want to lose Richie but we feel a bit upset he has turned down a contract which would have made him the highest-paid player at Widnes now Jonathan has gone.'

Davies left on a free transfer because Widnes had difficulty affording his contract, but Mills said: 'We don't want people thinking our players will be going for nothing from now on.

'Our financial problems have eased with the likes of Jonathan leaving, so no players will be going cheaply.

'Richie Eyres was one of the most consistent players in the game last season and is at the peak of his career.'

News that Eyres is for sale is sure to alert a number of other leading clubs despite the fact that he will miss the start of next season after his dismissal in the Challenge Cup final against Wigan at Wembley in May.

Michael Jackson, Wakefield Trinity's Great Britain second-row forward, joined Halifax on a two-year contract yesterday.