Rugby Union: Warrington bailed out

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The Independent Online
WARRINGTON HAVE sold their Wilderspool ground, their home for 100 years, to their local council for pounds 1m. Although they will continue to play there for the immediate future, the deal paves the way for the club to move to a new stadium elsewhere in the town.

The council leader, John Gartside, said the deal had saved the club. He said: "The rugby club was going out of business, due to its debts. We believe the club is a valuable asset to the town and are not willing to sit back and let it die."

The infusion of cash will not only ease Warrington's financial position, but will also help finance the team-building their coach, Darryl Van de Velde, is engaged on in Australia.

The London Broncos have denied their coach, Tony Currie, is on his way out of the club. Despite suggestions that Currie's job was under threat at a board meeting yesterday to assess a poor season, the Broncos' chief executive, Tony Rea, insisted he would still be there in 1999. He said: "I have heard the rumours, but Tony is under contract for next season."

The Australian coaches Peter Louis and Peter Mulholland have been linked with a club that slumped from second to seventh this year. Currie said: "I have put a lot of work into this club. We had a meeting to discuss things, but my position did not come under pressure."

The club has released the former Wigan winger Wes Cotton in order to make room for one of their new signings, the Auckland Warriors wingman, Paul Staladi, in next year's squad. Staladi's signing is dependent on his having played enough first grade games to qualify for a work permit.

Also on his way is Castleford's Australian centre, David Chapman, cut from the playing staff at Wheldon Road after a season badly affected by injury.

Featherstone have appointed Kevin Hobbs, one of their coaching staff since 1992, as their head coach. He succeeds Steve Simms, whose contract has not been renewed because of financial restrictions.

Bradford have been called to the Rugby League to explain comments made about the referee, Stuart Cummings, after their defeat by St Helens in the Super League play-offs last Friday. Cummings sent off the Bulls' captain, Graeme Bradley, for an alleged attack with the elbow only for the player to be found not guilty at a disciplinary hearing this week.

Greg McCallum, the Australian in charge of British referees from 1995 to 1997, is to return to take over the reins.

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