Bradford praise new heart project after Purtell scare


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The Independent Online

Bradford have welcomed plans to implement a cardiac screening programme across all Super League clubs as centre Adrian Purtell continues his recovery from a heart attack.

The Bulls yesterday confirmed that the 27-year-old Purtell suffered a heart attack within hours of playing in Sunday's derby against Leeds at the Etihad. The Australian was rushed to hospital after being taken ill on the team bus and underwent surgery to unblock an artery. Purtell was said to be "feeling much better" yesterday but is expected to remain in care for the rest of the week for further tests.

The health scare came as a shock to Bradford but a heart-testing procedure which will be introduced at clubs this summer may prevent a similar occurrence by revealing any congenital heart defects.

A cardiac risk screening programme for young players attending national camps has been in operation for the past nine years but the Super League clubs last week agreed to bring in a similar scheme for all senior players.

Three players sent off in the Wigan-St Helens derby were yesterday handed bans totalling six matches. St Helens forward Shaun Magennis was handed the stiffest penalty, a three-game ban and £300 fine, for his part in the brawl that marred the final match of the Magic Weekend programme in Manchester last Sunday.

Wigan forward Gareth Hock received a two-match suspension and a £300 fine while team-mate Chris Tuson was given a one-match ban and £300 fine. They will both miss the match with Leeds on Friday.