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RUGBY LEAGUE: RIVALS FIGHT FOR CHANGE.

Byline: IAN LAYBOURN

ST HELENS and Hull may take their appeals to a higher court if the Rugby League's independent advisory panel refuse to reinstate their points docked for alleged salary cap breaches.

The title-chasing duo,along with bottom club Halifax, are due to hear on We dnesday if their appeals against two point deductions have been successful.

But regardless of the outcome, both clubs are demanding a change to the regulations to end the current confusion.

The three-man panel, headed by high court judge James Spencer,deferred the outcome after sitting for more than eight hours at the League's headquarters on the outskirts of Leeds.

All three clubs were accompanied at the hearing by their accountants and Hull took with them two cardboard boxes full of documents.

``The issues involved in these appeals were difficult and the arguments involved mean we require time to consider our decisions,'' said Spencer. ``We will inform the clubs on Wednesday afternoon.''

All three clubs remain confident of winning back their points but Ian Millward's Saints and Shaun McRae's Hull are thought to be ready to continue the fight if tomorrow's verdict goes against them.

``It is possible that we could go to a sporting arbitration court and we will be discussing that possibility with Saints,'' said Hull chief executive David Plummer.

``The (salary cap) regulations were published in 1999 and since then they have been changed by various minutes of meetings,''he said.

``We have been consistent over the years. It is the RFL who have decided to adopt a different approach this year.

``The auditors have changed three times since it started and different people interpret information in different ways.

``Whatever the outcome, we have got to have the set of rules for the future.''

CAPTION(S):

APPEALING: Saints'Ian Millward (left)and Hull's ShaunMcRae find out tomorrow if their clubs have been docked points
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2003
Words:312
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