The statement from Sean Long threatening to quit playing for Great Britain shocks League fans across the globe. Most had assumed he made the announcement prior to the start of the 2004 Tri-Nations.
Meanwhile, Wigan expand their search for front-row strength even further, with reports that Maurice Lindsay was spotted at the Royal Navy versus Normanton tie in the Challenge Cup over the weekend. A Warriors spokesman described as â€śludicrousâ€ť the idea that the Chairman spends his weekends travelling around the country to watch semi-naked sailors grapple in mud.
The new title sponsor for Super League is announced as Engage Mutual Assurance. Sources within the game are reportedly relieved to put the speculation of recent weeks behind them. One told us, â€śWe narrowly avoided signing lucrative, high profile deals with Gillette and Abbey. These would have stretched our marketing department to breaking point. He already works after school and in the holidays to promote the game, and we donâ€™t want his GCSE results to suffer due to the extra workâ€ť.
Luke Davico has his contract with Wigan terminated after his surgeon advises him to rest from the game for six to twelve months. Maurice Lindsay blames the decision on the effects of the salary cap, and Davicoâ€™s agent is immediately contacted by Widnes. â€śHeâ€™s exactly our sort of playerâ€ť, says Frank Endeacott.
As Shaun Briscoe becomes the latest victim of Hullâ€™s injury jinx, ancient documents show that there may be dark forces at work within the KC Stadium. The parchments were discovered deep in the cellars of City Hall, and speak of a â€śhaggarde olde crone, vacant of eye and payle of skynâ€ť, who is forever cursed to walk the site of the stadium, bringing misfortune to all she meets. Hull FC Chief Executive Kath Hetherington was unavailable for comment.
Concerns continue to grow over the Bradford Bulls Chairman Chris Caisley and PR Manager Stuart Duffy. Sports Editor of the Telegraph and Argus Willie Eckerslike told us, â€śWe havenâ€™t heard from Chris or Stuart for at least a week now, since the press release to mark the 1000th press release of the year. This is most unlike them, and weâ€™re concerned that without their input there isnâ€™t enough going on in Bradford to fill a newspaperâ€ť. Police have encouraged anyone who knows the whereabouts of the two men to â€śkeep it to themselvesâ€ť.
After his team opened their Super League campaign against Huddersfield Giants, Leigh Centurions coach and noted luddite Darren Abram spoke out again on the Super League expansion policy. â€śWeâ€™ve been trying for 110 years to get the people of Huddersfield interested in the game, yet still they struggle to draw crowds like we get here in the heartland of the game at Leighâ€ť, he said. â€śMaybe we should face the fact that they are too far away from the M62 corridor, and replace them in Super League with a team based at Hartshead Moor or Birchâ€ť.
As talks continue over Andy Farrellâ€™s rumoured switch to Union, it emerges that the RFU have specifically employed a â€śMr Fixitâ€ť to target top League stars. Apparently the secretive character spends his days at Twickenham locked in a darkened room, working his way through videos of Skyâ€™s Super League coverage to identify potential talent to switch codes. So far he is believed to have reached the 1999 season, and is recommending to his paymasters the promising Leeds wing pairing of Francis Cummins and Leroy Rivett.
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