New evidence sees Worrincy ban extended by three months

Rob Worrincy
Rob Worrincy
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Disgraced Halifax winger Rob Worrincy has seen his ban for breaching rugby league betting rules increased from six to nine months.

He appealed against the original suspension handed down in March, when the player admitted placing a series of bets including ones on matches in which he played, between May 2012 and September last year.

But an independent operational rules appeals tribunal heard new evidence provided by the Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit identifying more details of the activity, including the device from which the bets were placed.

It saw 15 bets on matches involving Halifax, 12 of which ex-Sheffield Eagles wideman Worrincy played in.

The 29-year-old was also found to have placed a number of stakes against his Championship club.

Worrincy, who hails from Leeds and briefly played for Castleford Tigers in 2004, denied placing the majority of the bets involving Halifax, including those against his own club, despite evidence to the contrary from the Gambling Commission.

Meanwhile, the RFL has appointed ex-FA Simon Johnson director of corporate affairs and company secretary as a non-executive member of the sport’s independent board of directors.

His arrival was confirmed during the Rugby League Council’s AGM held at St Helens yesterday and he replaces Maurice Watkins, who has stepped down after three four-year terms as an RFL director.

RFL chairman Brian Barwick said: “Simon’s wealth of experience in the sports and media industry, together with his widely-acknowledged expertise in sports law and governance, will enable him to make a significant contribution to the ongoing welfare of the sport.”

Also, the RFL yesterday reported a profit of £120,000 for the financial year 2013 – when the World Cup was staged here – which is almost double the previous year’s result and came from a record turnover of £34m.

Dewsbury Rams’ Andrew Farrow was confirmed as the RFL president for 2014-15, succeeding David Oxley after stepping up from vice-president, a role which will now be filled by Huddersfield Giants deputy chairman Dr Paul Morgan.

Manase Manuokafoa has become the first player to announce his departure from Bradford Bulls following the club’s relegation.

The ex-North Queensland prop, 29, has signed a two-year deal with Widnes Vikings starting at the end of this season.

“With the situation as it is at Bradford, I needed to get my future sorted and I wanted to ensure security for my family,” he said.

Fellow Bulls prop Jamal Fakir later confirmed he will head home to France to join Lezignan.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ Australian back-row Matt Ryan, ever-present since joining from Parramatta Eels last winter, will miss the rest of the season after being told he needs to have a shoulder operation.