Broken wrist deprives Wolves of Briers for two months

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The Independent Online

Lee Briers' hopes of belatedly forcing his way into the Great Britain reckoning have suffered another blow with the news that he has broken his wrist.

The Warrington stand-off is expected to be out for two months after being told that he fractured his scaphoid midway through an outstanding display for the Wolves in their 50-8 thrashing of the London Broncos on Sunday.

"For Lee to play 35 minutes at this level with a broken wrist bears testimony to his character and indicates how determined he is to force his way back into the international selection process," said the Warrington coach, Paul Cullen.

"We're greatly disappointed to be losing the most naturally talented player in Super League and we are duty bound to provide a top-six league position for his return."

Hull have decided to release two players whose time with them has been blighted by injury. Tony Smith and Steve Craven have been told that they are not being offered contracts for next season.

Craven has played only 15 games in two years because of shoulder and ankle problems, whilst Smith is out for the rest of the season with a broken leg. "I have agreed a release and can concentrate on looking for another club and getting fit again," said Smith, who could well be a target for one of his former clubs, Castleford, as a replacement for Danny Orr.

After signing Orr on Monday, Wigan have pulled out of the race to sign the Australian centre, Mark Gasnier. The Warriors' chairman, Maurice Lindsay, said of the St George-Illawarra player. "Much as we admire Mark, we will not be pursuing our interest," he said.

The Widnes forward, Anthony Farrell, who was found guilty of the high tackle for which he was sent off against Hull on Sunday, has escaped any suspension.

St Helens are to be rugby league's representatives in next month's Middlesex Sevens after Bradford's victory last year.