Bulls turn to Radford as kicker

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The Independent Online

The Bradford coach, Brian Noble, is set to give Lee Radford the responsibility of solving the thorny problem of goalkicking in the World Club Challenge against Penrith on Friday.

With the reliable Paul Deacon out of action following an eye operation, the Bulls are ready to turn to the former Hull second-rower, who was not called upon as various players managed only one goal from six attempts in a friendly last week.

"He had a slight leg strain, which was why he didn't kick,'' Noble said. "But if he's right, he should start as kicker.''

With his captain, Robbie Paul, forced to put back his comeback from a broken arm until the next round of the Challenge Cup, Noble also confirmed that Aaron Smith will play hooker at the McAlpine Stadium.

Next year's World Club Challenge could be in Australia. This week's is the last of three games covered by an agreement to play in Britain, and the Rugby League's executive chairman, Richard Lewis, said that staging the match in Australia in 2005 was a possibility. Penrith's chief executive, Shane Richardson, said: "If we win the competition again, we'd love to host it.''

Wigan have suffered another injury blow with the news that their centre David Hodgson could be out for three months with a ruptured Achilles tendon. They already have Andy Farrell, Adrian Lam and Mick Cassidy missing the start of the season.

St Helens have been ordered to pay Wigan £20,000 for signing their prop Ricky Bibey. The fee could rise to £50,000 depending on appearances and representing Great Britain.

The Dewsbury coach, Andy Fisher, has resigned following his side's defeat by the amateurs of Sharlston in the Challenge Cup.

Bob Bailey, the former New Zealand Test coach who guided Dynamo Moscow during their Challenge Cup campaign, is considering an offer to become the national coach of Russia.

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