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Hull rugby player charged with child sex offences

Hull Kingston Rovers rugby player Adam Walker has been charged with child sex offences.

Adam Walker has eight caps for Scotland Credit: Press Association

West Yorkshire Police said that the 24-year-old from Shipley was charged with two offences of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child on 27 January.

The prop forward who has eight caps for Scotland and played in the 2013 World Cup is due to appear before Wakefield Magistrates later this month.

Hull Kingston Rovers have been made aware by the player and his legal representative of charges brought against him by the West Yorkshire police.

Adam continues to maintain his innocence and expects to be exonerated once the matter is before the courts.

The matter is under constant review by the club and until such time as the situation changes the club will continue to support Adam and he will remain available for selection.

Given there are now pending criminal proceedings before the court it would be wholly inappropriate for the club to comment further.

– Hull Kingston Rovers statement

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Hull captain to miss season opener

Hull will start the new season without captain Gareth Ellis, who is being given more time to fully recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Gareth Ellis won't be available for Hull on Friday Credit: Press Association

The former England forward is back in full training after spending eight months on the sidelines but will not be risked against Salford, who visit the KC Stadium on Friday.

"Gareth's been in full training for two weeks but we are trusting our staff to bring him back at the right time," coach Lee Radford said.

Hull are set to give debuts to new signings Mahe Fonua, Sika Manu, Frank Pritchard, former Salford prop Scott Taylor and Carlos Tuimavave but there is no place for former Leeds and Wakefield full-back Lee Smith, who is currently on trial at the club.

Salford could have as many as nine debutants after including newcomers Justin Carney, Mark Flanagan, Josh Jones, Phil Joseph, Craig Kopczak, Rob Lui. Ben Murdoch-Masila, Gareth O'Brien and Matt Sarsfield in their 19-man squad.

Wayne Bennett is new England RFL head coach

The RFL has confirmed that Wayne Bennett is to become the new Head Coach of the England Rugby League team. It follows the departure of former Bradford Bulls boss Steve McNamara.

Bennett, the most successful Australian Rugby League coach in history has agreed a two-year deal that will see him take charge of the England team through the 2016 Four Nations and 2017 World Cup.

I am very excited by the challenge of taking England on to the next level. From what I have seen I have been impressed by the ambition and energy demonstrated by the team and I look forward to working with a group of players that I believe have what it takes to succeed on the international stage.

– Wayne Bennett

Steve McNamara leaves role as England head coach

Steve McNamara: no longer head coach Credit: PA

Steve McNamara has left his role as England head coach, the Rugby Football League has confirmed.

The 44-year-old former Bradford boss, who was appointed in 2010, was out of contract at the end of November's Test series against New Zealand and has been told he will not be offered a new deal.

The move is set to pave the way for the appointment of veteran Australian Wayne Bennett as the new England head coach.

The RFL has concluded that with the 2016 Four Nations and 2017 World Cup on the horizon, now is the time to make any change to the England set-up.

Steve McNamara has been the longest serving national coach in our history and it is undoubtedly the case that the national team and set up have moved on considerably under Steve’s leadership. We would like to place on record our thanks to Steve McNamara for his considerable efforts over the years to both the England senior team and the underlying programme. He leaves with our very best wishes and on a high, after a series win over New Zealand.

– RFL chief executive Nigel Wood
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