Bradford fired up 'for biggest match'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It might not decide which of them will finish top of the table in six weeks' time, but that will not prevent Leeds and Bradford from regarding tonight's meeting at Headingley as the most important Super League match of the season so far.

The Yorkshire teams are level on points, seven ahead of the field, and there should be 20,000 there this evening to see which of them goes clear.

Bradford are so bereft of a fit stand-off that they have not even named a squad, but their Great Britain second-rower, Jamie Peacock, summed up the significance of the local rivalry. "For me, being a Leeds lad, it is the biggest game of the year," he said.

Leeds have lost heavily to Bradford in the league as well as narrowly in the Challenge Cup final. They have been winning without playing particularly well in recent weeks.

Bradford have continued their planning for the future by signing the England Schools international in league and union, 16-year-old Matthew Cook, who has already played for Saracens but has committed his future to the Bulls. "We feel we have taken a player from rugby union who will be a big player in rugby league," said the Bradford coach, Brian Noble.

Warrington have signed the St George-Illawarra prop, Chris Leikvoll, to fill the gap left by Nick Fozzard's departure to St Helens next season. "He has learned his trade in the toughest and fastest competition in the world and will add a dynamic impact to the way we go forward," said the Warrington coach, Paul Cullen.

The former Warrington centre Michael Eagar is to join Hull on a two-year deal from Castleford. Eagar will replace the departing Toa Kohe-Love. Castleford have already recruited Paul Newlove from St Helens to take over from Eagar next year.

Bridgend, the scene of reawakened interest in the code through the success of the Bridgend Blue Bulls in the RL Conference, is to host Australia on their tour this autumn. Wales will face the Kangaroos at the 12,000 capacity Brewery Field, home of Bridgend RFC, on 2 November.