Alker leads out Salford again

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Malcolm Alker has been re-appointed as team captain at Salford, after being sacked from the role before the season began.

Alker was demoted after allegations of breaches of club discipline on their pre-season trip to Florida and replaced by Rob Parker, but has been reinstated following an internal inquiry. Parker will remain as club captain, but Alker will lead the City Reds out at St Helens tonight. "I've spoken at length to Malcolm and he is deserving of this second chance," said the Salford coach, Shaun McRae.

Bradford, without a win in Super League this season, have a major boost this weekend with the return of Andy Lynch. The England front-rower has not played since undergoing shoulder surgery last year, but has come through full training this week and is in the squad to face Hull on Sunday.

That will come as a relief to the Bulls' coach, Steve McNamara, who has been plagued with injury problems in the forwards from the start of the campaign. Already without David Solomona and Jamie Langley with shoulder injuries, McNamara saw the hooker Wayne Godwin break his leg at Wigan on Saturday.

Godwin was encouraged this week by being told that he could be back in action in three months.

The Hull KR forward Clint Newton has agreed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2013. Newton is in the second year of his current two-year contract, but has signed to stay for another four, rather than return to his native Australia. "I've no desire to go back and play in the NRL, because there is something happening at Rovers and I want to be a part of it," he said.

The Irish Rugby League is considering making an application to enter a team, provisionally named Munster Flame, in the third tier of the British professional game, Conference One.

The Celtic Crusaders' utility player and their leading points-scorer last season, Mark Lennon, faces a lay-off after breaking his thumb.