Skerrett considersWire move

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
The future of Kelvin Skerrett remains in the balance, with the Wales and Great Britain prop asking for more time before deciding whether to accept Warrington's offer.

Skerrett will talk to his present club, Wigan, today, but they have made it clear that they want him to go in order to bring down their wage bill. Skerrett would prefer to go to a club nearer his Yorkshire home, but Bradford's Brian Smith has ruled his club out of the running.

Wigan, who say that another player might have to go to bring them within next season's salary cap, have resigned themselves to losing their Test winger, Jason Robinson, who is leaving for Australia next June.

Robinson had hinted that he would prefer to stay, rather than taking up a four-year contract with the ARL. "We are not able to do anything about it," Jack Robinson, the Wigan chairman, said .

The club hopes to continue to get the best out of him until his departure, however. The player stayed away from training over a pay dispute last week, but made himself available to play at Castleford on Sunday.

It was a day of departures at Warrington, with the former Great Britain scrum-half Mike Ford agreeing to a move to Wakefield. His replacement, the Western Samoan Willie Swann, is due to arrive next week.

The club has also parted company with its chief executive, Graham Armstrong, who has been replaced by John Smith.

The referees' director, Greg McCallum, has hit back at criticism of officials by coaches. McCallum said the referee at St Helens on Sunday had been right not to allow an extra substitute when a Bradford player was carried off as a result of foul play.

"This is not an international law, nor does it exist in this country. It only applies in the Australian domestic competition," McCallum said.

"A number of coaches are using the age-old practice of laying blame on match officials to cover shortcomings by their own players.

"I openly admit that John Connolly made a mistake in penalising and sin-binning Leeds' Anthony Gibbons in Saturday's game at Oldham, but his error-rate was significantly less than that of some players involved."

McCallum warned that action will be taken against coaches and players publicly criticising officials.

The Rugby League says that it is confident of reaching an agreement with the BBC for the televising of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup from next season.

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