Double leg break forces Pryce out for rest of season

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The Independent Online

Castleford will be without their prolific winger, Waine Pryce, for the rest of the season following surgery on a double fracture of his leg.

Pryce, who scored a club record 30 tries in the Tigers' promotion campaign last year, broke both bones in his lower leg in the 24-16 loss at Harlequins on Saturday. He went to hospital in Leeds on Monday and had a pinning operation yesterday.

"It was a very nasty and painful break," a Castleford spokesman said. "The doctors say that the operation has been successful, so it is just a case of waiting for his recovery now, but he clearly won't play again this year."

Castleford appear to have a straight replacement for Sunday's game against Leeds, with Luke Dyer ready to return after injury. They have also recently brought in another Australian, the Greek-qualified Adam Fletcher, but their coach, Terry Matterson, has been told he can look for a short-term reinforcement.

Deon Bird, who can cover most three-quarter positions, is still out with a shoulder injury, while Damien Blanch is out on loan to Widnes for the rest of the season, with no recall clause.

Castleford have withdrawn from the bidding for the Australian Test stand-off, Scott Hill, leaving the way open for Harlequins to sign one of the most stylish ball-handlers in the game.

Cas have switched their attention elsewhere and hope to announce a major signing for next season later this week. They are unlikely to pursue Mark O'Neill, the Australian forward who is being released by Leeds at the end of this season.

St Helens have their Kiwi Test centre, Willie Talau, back in their squad after injury for Friday night's visit of Harlequins.

The former Great Britain centre Gary Connolly is to make a return to rugby league this weekend. He is to play for Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors in the York International 9s. Connolly last played league for Widnes last season, although he has since played union in Ireland.

The Huddersfield coach, Jon Sharp, whose side has slid into the relegation dogfight, believes they can make the play-offs. Defeat by Wakefield, and a Wigan home win over Salford on Friday, would plunge Huddersfield into the relegation spot. "The Wakefield game is massive for us," Sharp said. "We've got aspirations to make the six. It's about collecting the two points and maintaining pressure on Salford and Warrington."

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