League in threat to dump three rebel clubs
From TONY ADAMS in Sydney
THREE Australian rugby league clubs - Canberra, Canterbury and Cronulla - have been threatened with expulsion from the Winfield Cup as the superleague debate took a bitter turn yesterday.
Rupert Murdoch's News Limited shook the game to its foundations on Friday by announcing it had signed several leading players, as well as coaches of the three clubs named above.
But the league hit back yesterday by announcing the three clubs, who have supported the superleague since it was first mooted last year, now face being kicked out of the 1995 premiership.
'We will meet with the three clubs next week and they will have to show just cause as to why they shouldn't be expelled from the premiership,' said Australian Rugby League boss Ken Arthurson.
'They have made it clear they want to play in a rebel league and [also] want to be part of the established competition.' Arthurson said any player or coach who had signed with the rebel league would be banned from playing representative football.
Key players including Canberra's Laurie Daley, Cronulla's Andrew Ettingshausen and Brisbane's Allan Langer, who have either signed or are poised to sign with the superleague, will lose their Test spots as a result.
In on-field action, North Sydney thrashed the Auckland Warriors 48-10 in Sydney yesterday. After holding a slender 6-4 lead at half-time, the Bears cut loose in second half with a point-scoring spree.