RUGBY LEAGUE: Wigan reject Cowie bid

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Wigan have turned down Bradford Northern's bid for their Great Britain prop, Neil Cowie, writes Dave Hadfield. Bradford, eager to strengthen their flagging forward power, made what was described as a "substantial offer" earlier this week.

"We discussed it, but we want to retain as many of our good players as possible," the Wigan chairman, Jack Robinson, said.

He was also keen to play down speculation that another Test front rower, Kelvin Skerrett, might be on the move after his display of annoyance when substituted at Leeds on Sunday.

An administration shocked by recent international results has proposed a radical shake-up of youth rugby league in an attempt to develop more and better players. The idea is for them to have a "passport" which will not only admit them to professional games but also monitor the number of matches they play.

A plan -which has already been put to the British Amateur Rugby League Association and the English Schools Rugby League -suggests incorporating all youth rugby under a scheme called Project 2000.