Rugby Union: Sleightholme in freefall

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Jon Sleightholme's career continued to freefall yesterday when Bath told the England wing that his services were no longer required.

The 25-year-old Sleight holme, who has 18 months of a three-year contract remaining, agreed to go on the transfer list once Bath made their feelings known.

Several leading Allied Dunbar Premiership clubs have already made enquiries about signing the Yorkshireman, who has been capped 12 times, although Bath will demand a pounds 100,000-plus transfer fee.

Only two weeks ago the new England coach, Clive Woodward, ignored Sleight- holme's claims for a place in the 23-man national squad preparing to tackle New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

"I have spoken to Jon, but this matter is between me, him and the club. I would rather keep it that way," Andy Robinson, the Bath coach, said.

Bath's chief executive, Tony Swift, said: "The crunch is that we cannot guarantee Jon regular first-team rugby."

Sleightholme, who scored five tries during an unbroken 13-match England run, gave up a full-time teaching job at Bath's Culverhay School last year to concentrate on rugby.