Rugby League: Winter games' success

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The Independent Online
Leeds plan to restore Boxing Day matches to a permanent place on their calendar after the success of their clash with Halifax this week. A crowd of 13,600 was at Headingley for the game despite the complete lack of public transport in Leeds on the bank holiday.

"The attendance certainly justified our decision to stage the fixture," said Gary Hetherington, the Leeds' chief executive, who, ironically, was one of the arch-advocates of the switch to a summer season.

The future of the Wigan v St Helens fixture on Boxing Day also looks secure after a crowd of more than 16,000 turned up at Central Park.

Swinton will be without their new signing from Wigan, Andy Craig, for the match at Oldham on Sunday.

Craig has knee trouble and Swinton will also have to manage without their half-back Peter Cannon and their former Oldham prop Leo Casey, who are both recovering from surgery.

The game is being played to mark the closure and demolition of the Watersheddings ground, 107 years after the first match, also against Swinton, was played there.

Oldham, who will play their Super League matches at Boundary Park next season, are hoping to give a debut to their new signing Vince Fawcett, who last played with the Australian club Parramatta.

But Fawcett's previous English club, Workington Town, say that he is still registered with them and that they are entitled to a fee.

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