Bradford pin their hopes on Harris

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The Independent Online

If the rumour mill which began to grind long before Iestyn Harris's announcement that he wants to return to rugby league is correct, Bradford will soon have a new stand-off.

If the rumour mill which began to grind long before Iestyn Harris's announcement that he wants to return to rugby league is correct, Bradford will soon have a new stand-off.

The Bulls are adamant that they have not signed the former Leeds captain, exiled in Welsh rugby union for the last three years, but that does not mean they have no plans to do so. That will meet a mixed response at Headingley. Leeds remain equally adamant that Harris's registration reverts to them, but it is far from certain that they have the will, or the means, to bring him back to the scene of his past glories.

Harris was a match-winner for the Rhinos, but he is 28, and the positions he might fill - full-back, half-back, even loose-forward - are occupied by players five years younger.

Bradford, as today's team at Salford will illustrate, have a more obvious need for a midfield general. Leon Pryce started at stand-off in the past two games, but the jury is still out on whether that is his best position. In any event, he is unavailable today with a rib injury and Robbie Paul is likely to take over, although that does not look like a long-term solution.

From being the overwhelming favourites to win everything on the basis of their early-season form, Bradford have lost a little direction - partly due to the loss of James Lowes, Daniel Gartner and Mike Forshaw.

Whether a 28-year-old who has been playing another game for the past three years is the man to provide it is a moot point, but Bradford look willing to try to find out.

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