Rugby League: Wigan warn others off Gilmour with new deal

WIGAN HAVE taken action to ensure that Lee Gilmour, their discovery of the season, will be with them for at least another four years.

The 20-year-old second-row or centre had made only one substitute appearance before this year, but has been involved in every Super League match this season, also making his debut for England against Wales in July.

Already under contract until 2000, he has now agreed an extended deal that will keep him at the club until 2002. That should warn off clubs, like Bradford, who have shown a keen interest in his future plans.

By contrast, there are now two Wigan first-team regulars who will retire at the end of this season. Robbie McCormack, named as the best hooker in the country this week, has rejected reduced terms for next season and will return to Australia after playing for the club in the play-off series.

He joins his fellow Australian, Mark Bell, in hoping to bring down the curtain on his playing career at the Super League Grand Final on 24 October.

John Monie, the Wigan coach, now plans to bring in another player, not necessarily a hooker, from Australia to take McCormack's place on the club's overseas quota. Meanwhile, Wigan remain hopeful of agreeing a new contract with Gary Connolly, whose current deal expires in June.

The Australian Test prop, Mark Carroll, has played his last game for the London Broncos. Carroll has been banned for two matches for the altercation with St Helens' Brett Goldspink that triggered a mass brawl at The Stoop last Friday and so will miss London's final match at Castleford on Sunday.

Carroll is already committed to returning to Australia after just one season with the Broncos. He is to rejoin his first club, South Sydney, after failing to settle in England.

Goldspink, who joins Wigan next season, will also miss his current club's last Super League match, at home to the Sheffield Eagles tomorrow night. He has been suspended for one match for striking an opponent during the flare-up at the Broncos, but will be available for Saints' play-off match against Bradford next weekend.

Leeds have announced a 10 per cent rise in their average home gate for the season. Leeds, assured of second place in the table going into the play-offs, have averaged 12,143, compared with 11,005 last year.

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