Cauthorn caution for the Sharks

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The Sheffield Sharks centre Todd Cauthorn, who has played an integral part in the Sharks' season to date, is doubtful for tomorrow's National Cup Final against London Towers. The 6ft 8in American was diagnosed with an unspecified leg ailment on Thursday after training for the past week in severe pain.

Team medical staff and management have decided to rest the player in the hope that the condition improves. Doctors fear the infection may spread and become even more acute if aggravated by physical activity.

"Losing Todd would be a big blow to our chances of retaining the Cup," the Sharks general manager, Yuri Matischen, said. "As it stands right now we have to prepare as though he will not be playing on Sunday."

The Sharks will, however, enjoy a large and vocal support in the Sheffield Arena. "Forget neutral," the London coach, Kevin Cadle, said. "This is an away game for us and a home game for Sheffield, no question. Whatever the crowd, they get in there tomorrow, 90 per cent of them will be against us."

The Sharks attracted 6,600 fans to Sheffield Arena for last Sunday's Budweiser League game.