Rugby Union: League coach hired to help Woodward

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Phil Larder, the former Great Britain rugby league coach, has switched codes to become national development officer for rugby union.

Larder, who will initially work as a coach under Clive Woodward, the new England head coach, is expected to be confirmed in his new post on 27 November.

"Phil brings a wealth of experience with him from a code which I respect and from which we can learn," Woodward said. "Phil is a great asset and I will look at personnel and techniques which will strengthen the team even further."

Larder was a rugby union player at Loughborough Colleges, but has been immersed in league since signing for Oldham when he had completed his education. He later became an assistant to the Great Britain coach, Malcolm Reilly, before going into club coaching with Widnes and Keighley.

In 1995, Larder himself became coach of Great Britain and England, but his contract was not renewed after an unsuccessful tour of the southern hemisphere last year. He then became coach of Sheffield Eagles, but was sacked midway through last season after a bad run of results.

A spokesman for the Rugby League said: "We wish him all the best in his new career. Phil is a very good coach and did a great deal for the game at international level."

Leicester launched a share issue yesterday in an attempt to raise pounds 2.5m. The Midlands club, now a public company, plans to use the funds to build its commercial side, their spokesman, John Bick, said. Members of the club and the public can apply for shares by 6 December, he said.

The Newcastle lock Doddie Weir will not be taking any legal action against the Mpumalanga forward Marius Bosman, the man responsible for cutting short his Lions tour last summer. Weir was left with serious damage to his knee as a result of Bosman's kick during the Lions' game against the South African side.

EMERGING ENGLAND (v All Blacks, McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield, tonight): J Mallinder (Sale); J Bentley (Newcastle), N Greenstock (Wasps), M Allen (Northampton), T Beim (Sale); P Grayson (Northampton), A Healey; G Rowntree (both Leicester), M Regan (Bath), D Garforth (Leicester), S Shaw (Wasps), D Grewcock (Saracens), R Jenkins (Harlequins), N Back (Leicester, capt), C Sheasby (Wasps). Replacements: R Butland, K Yates (both Bath), M Wood (Wasps), N McCarthy, D Simms, (both Gloucester), M Corry (Leicester).