Rugby League: Wigan asked for Test assurances: Board expresses concern over club's attitude to internationals

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THE relationship between the game's administration and its leading club has taken another turn for the worse with the League demanding assurances from Wigan that they will not try to prevent any of their players from appearing in the Test against France next month.

The move is the latest twist in the dispute over the absence of Martin Offiah from the World Sevens in Sydney earlier this month. Offiah withdrew from the trip after reaching an impasse over extra insurance cover. The League's board of directors describes Wigan as having 'introduced the bombshell of a change in club policy regarding insurance'.

As well as seeking a promise from the club's chairman, Jack Robinson, that the club will underwrite players' contracts for injuries sustained on Test duty, the board has expressed its concern at Wigan's whole attitude to international rugby.

In another hangover from the Sevens, the League is leaving the door open for Paul Newlove to make his peace, despite his announcememt that he has retired from Tests.

Warrington's directors will tonight discuss Rowland Phillips' transfer request. He asked for a move after being dropped. St Helens are resigned to being without George Mann, their New Zealand Test forward, after he broke down with a recurrence of his knee injury.

Bramley's plans to move in with the non-League football club, Farsley Celtic, next season have been thrown into doubt by Leeds United, who are interested in playing their reserve team fixtures at Farsley.