Rugby League:Wigan no closer to Connolly

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The Independent Online
WIGAN'S hopes of settling the future of Gary Connolly before their Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday are fading.

The club wanted to finalise a new deal that would also involve gaining a release for the Great Britain centre from his Australian contract at a meeting with his advisors yesterday.

"There is still a problem over the length of a new contract," said his manager, David McKnight. "It is not what he has been looking for. He still has the option of going to Australia or playing the other code."

It is understood that Wigan have offered Connolly a three or four-year deal, while the player is looking for five.

Wigan have made just one change to the side for their semi-final against the London Broncos, promoting Denis Betts to the starting line-up in place of Mick Cassidy after his successful return as a substitute against St Helens.

London have described reports that Tulsen Tollett will be rejoining them as "premature". Tollett played well enough in the first season of Super League in 1996 to win a place on Great Britain's tour, but opted to join Harlequins last year.

Now the rugby union club is keen to cut costs and London are still looking for a top-class stand-off.

John Lawless will return as hooker for Sheffield Eagles in Sunday's semi- final against Salford, in place of Darren Turner. Willie Morganson will come in for the suspended Keith Senior, provided he comes safely through a return in the A team tomorrow night.

A delegation from the Australian Rugby League is to fly into England at the weekend to fight through the courts here for pounds 400,000 they claim they are owed from the 1995 World Cup.