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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK
St Helens suspend coach Millward
Ian Millward
Millward joined Saints in March 2000
St Helens coach Ian Millward is facing an uncertain future after being suspended by the Super League club.

The Australian has been temporarily relieved of his duties while Saints conduct a disciplinary investigation.

Assistant coach Dave Rotheram will take charge of the team, who continue the defence of their Powergen Challenge Cup title against York on Friday.

Millward's solicitor said he would "vigorously contest" the allegations brought against him.

BBC Sport's Dave Woods says a row with a Warrington press officer could be the reason for Millward's suspension.

St Helens chief executive Sean McGuire declined, for legal reasons, to elaborate on the reasons for the suspension, but said club chairman Eamonn McManus would conduct a hearing "as soon as possible".

"This is a very precise legal process governed by some very strict rules," McGuire said.

Millward's Leeds-based solicitor Richard Cramer confirmed that a disciplinary investigation would take place this week.

"Ian is shocked and devastated and intends to vigorously contest the allegations," he said.

"It is Ian's intention to co-operate fully with the disciplinary proceedings and to return to his duties in readiness for the Powergen Challenge Cup-tie against York on Friday."

Australian Millward has guided Saints to immense success since joining them from Leigh in March 2000.

He won the Super League Grand Final in his first season in charge and within months had added the World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup to the club's trophy cabinet.

The 44-year-old from Wollongong steered his side to Super League glory again in 2002 and guided the club to victory in last year's Challenge Cup final against Wigan.

Millward, who is halfway through a five-year deal with Saints, is one of the game's most outspoken and colourful characters.

He has already been in trouble this season, fined 100 for leaving his coaching area during the Challenge Cup game with Huddersfield on 3 April.

The Rugby Football League have also launched an inquiry into Millward's behaviour during an engage Super League game with the Bradford Bulls on Easter Monday.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: Radio Five Live's Dave Woods


Interview: St. Helens director Eric Ashton




SEE ALSO
Millward heads League fines list
19 Apr 05 |  Rugby League
Millward wants full-time referees
19 Feb 05 |  Super League


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