Broncos hit by injuries for battle with Giants

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The Independent Online

London and today's opponents, Huddersfield, are locked in a three-way battle with Wigan for sixth place. The Broncos are slightly better placed than the Giants, but they have started to run out of bodies at the wrong time.

Already without Thomas Leuluai for the season, they have now lost Mark McLinden, who may also not play again this year. "At first we thought his leg was broken," said the London coach, Tony Rea. "Now it looks as though it might not be that bad, but he certainly won't play this weekend."

Of their original triumvirate, the Broncos now just have Luke Dorn available and Rea is likely to team him with either Zeb Luisi or Feleti Mateo.

No doubt he would love to have a player like Chris Thorman at his disposal once more, but his skills are now in the service of Huddersfield, who also have Paul Reilly and James Evans available after injury.

Ben Roarty and Stuart Donlan are still out, but Rea has a high regard for the Giants, regardless of how they line up for the Broncos' penultimate match at Griffin Park. "They've been a very well organised side for a while now, but they also have some real quality in the team," he said.

Rea hopes to take advantage of the new fashion for short-term signings from the other side of the world by bringing the New Zealand Warriors' utility player, Karl Temata, to the club next week.

"First of all, he's another body and he has the versatility to fill a couple of positions for us," said Rea, who might also still be without his hooker, David Highton, after hoping that he would be fit to return.

Brett Kimmorley, Great Britain's tormentor on his last two visits to this country, has withdrawn from contention for Australia's squad for this autumn's Tri-Nations in order to be able to attend his brother's wedding. Kimmorley, who would have been relegated to second choice behind Andrew Johns in any event, could be joined by the Sydney pair, Craig Fitzgibbon and Craig Wing, who are both to take medical advice at the end of their domestic season.

Another regular member of the Australian side, Nathan Hindmarsh, could also be a doubt for the tournament after injuring his knee in Parramatta's win over Brisbane last night.

The new Leigh coach, Tony Benson, will watch his side play St Helens tomorrow before flying back to New Zealand to sort out his affairs before taking up the job full-time in October.

Warrington are without Dean Gaskell, Michael Wainwright and Graham Appo - who has been de-registered to make room for Johns on their overseas quota - for their match against Salford tomorrow.

Widnes are without Terry O'Connor, one of the three players who have re-signed with them this week for next season despite their relegation from Super League, for tomorrow's trip to Wakefield, who could give a debut to Austin Buchanan, on loan from York.

In National League One, Whitehaven will move a step closer to topping the table at the end of the regular season if they beat Batley. Second placed Castleford host Featherstone.

Castleford, Whitehaven and the three other clubs with aspirations to play in Super League - Hull KR, Rochdale and Halifax - will be told before the NL1 grand final in October whether they meet the criteria.

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