Ambitions of Bulls and Wolves threatened by injuries

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The Independent Online

Two Super League clubs with play-off aspirations fear that they have seen the last of a key player for this season. Bradford will be without their scrum-half and goal-kicker, Paul Deacon, at Harlequins on Sunday following a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

The Bulls fear that he could miss the remaining five games of the regular season, a severe blow to them with their top-six place still not assured. Fourth-placed Warrington say that their New Zealand Test forward, Vinnie Anderson, needs a scan on his shoulder and could also miss the rest of the campaign.

Anderson is out of the Wolves' squad to face Leeds tomorrow, to which Chris Riley and Mike Cooper have been added, while the club's new coach, James Lowes, says that he is looking for an assistant to help him next season.

Gareth Raynor has been added to Hull's squad at Wigan tonight after being left out of the initial party with a leg injury. The Test winger escaped jail this week after admitting assault charges.

Hull's prop, Garreth Carvell, will be playing against one of the clubs interested in signing him, provided he can extricate himself from the contract he has signed with his present club, but there is still no James Webster, who is waiting for his British passport.

Wigan have Michael McIlorum and Gareth Hock suspended and Iafeta Paleaaesina struggling with an ankle injury. Hull KR, at home to the Catalan Dragons, are still leaving out the problematic Paul Cooke, whose father and agent, Roy, nevertheless claims that he will fulfil the remaining two and a half years of his contract.

For now, the Rovers coach, Justin Morgan, who has refused to comment on Cooke's prospects of a recall, continues to prefer young Chaz I'anson. He also has Shaun Briscoe back tonight after a two month absence with a groin tear.

The Catalans will be facing their former scrum-half, Michael Dobson, for the first time since his return to Super League. They have the accomplished Adam Mogg back after suspension as they try to strengthen their grip on third place in the table.

Salford, preparing for Super League, have extended the contracts of two of their most promising young players, Stefan Ratchford and Adam Sidlow.

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