Wigan bag brace of Kiwis

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

Wigan have completed the signing of the Auckland Warriors full-back David Murray. The Premiership Trophy holders beat a host of clubs, including Super League newcomers Salford Reds, to clinch 21-year-old Murray's signature on a three-year contract.

The player will link up with Wigan later this month and has already been pencilled in to make his debut in the Boxing Day fixture against St Helens at Central Park.

He will be joined in the Wigan line-up by his fellow countryman Stuart Lester, the 21-year-old Kiwi second-rower, who turned down a new deal with the Warriors to join Wigan.

John Quayle yesterday became a casualty in the battle for control of the game between the Australian and Rupert Murdoch's rival Super League. Quayle, who has resigned as chief executive of the ARL, will make a statement today but he has been quoted in the Australian media as saying he regards himself as an impediment to any possible peace agreement between the rival bodies.

The ARL chairman, Ken Arthurson, said: "We have accepted it with the greatest reluctance but John felt it was in the best interest of the game."

The ARL last month suffered a reversal in its 18-month battle with Super League when Australia's Federal Court upheld a Super League appeal against previous orders banning the competition until the year 2000. The legal battle enters its final phase on Friday when the ARL will seek leave to appeal to the High Court.