Bradford fear Pryce will miss Grand Final

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The Independent Online

Bradford and Leeds are digesting contrasting injury news in the build-up to a sold-out Super League Grand Final. Old Trafford will be full to its 65,537 capacity and among those watching is likely to be the Bulls' centre, Leon Pryce, who had an examination yesterday on his dislocated shoulder.

"His chances are slim," said his coach, Brian Noble. "He's having a scan but the reality is that we're not thinking he'll play."

That is a problem for Noble in his Great Britain role as well, because Pryce would have been one of his first choices on the wing for this autumn's Tri-Nations. Paul Johnson is likely to replace him on Saturday.

Leeds' Andrew Dunemann has been passed fit after a knee injury that kept him out of Friday's win over Wigan. He has been added to what is now a 20-man squad, but Tony Smith will not name his team until an hour before kick-off.

Leigh are confident of retaining Darren Abram, the coach who has steered them into Super League. Abram, who also holds a senior position at a roof insulation company, was non-committal about his future after the National League 1 Grand Final victory over Whitehaven on Sunday.

"It's no secret that Darren has a fantastic job outside rugby, but he aspires to coach in Super League," said the club's chairman, Derek Beaumont. "He's contracted to us for Super League and there's no reason why that won't go forward."

Swinton are showing interest in both the Coventry centres who played in their NL3 Grand Final victory - Adrian Veamatahau and Kurt Johnson, who scored four tries.

The Rugby League insists Sean Long could still play for Great Britain in the Tri-Nations, despite reports from St Helens that he could be out for two months after an operation to remove floating bones in his foot.

Australia have named four new caps in their side to play New Zealand in the opening game of the competition in Auckland this Saturday. They are the Brisbane loose forward, Tonie Carroll, who played for the Kiwis in the 2000 World Cup, the Canterbury pair, Willie Tonga and Andrew Ryan, and the Penrith winger, Luke Rooney.

The former Great Britain forward, Harvey Howard, is the new coach of Hull KR. Howard, whose clubs included Widnes, Wigan, Leeds and Bradford as well as two stints in Australia, succeeds Martin Hall, who decided against a new contract.

James Lowes, who will join Salford as assistant coach for next season, is the subject of a League investigation after being sent from the touchline during an Academy game with Bradford, for allegedly abusing a touch judge.

Paul Anderson, the Bradford prop who has signed with St Helens for next season, has retired from international rugby.

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