Dragons lifted by signing of Potter as coach

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The Independent Online

The Catalan Dragons have appointed the former Bradford assistant, Mick Potter, as their new coach. The French club in Super League have been without a head coach since the departure of Steve Deakin in December, but have succeeded in attracting Potter, one of Australia's most highly regarded young coaches, from his job with St George-Illawarra's reserve grade side.

"This is a great day for the club," said the Dragon's chief executive, Grant Mayer. "To sign someone with as much experience as a player and a coach as Mick Potter is a great testament to the project we have here."

The club expects him to arrive in time for the home game against Leeds on 11 March.

Leeds will have a 19-year-old winger making his debut tonight at St Helens - their rivals as favourites to win Super League this season. Danny Williams comes in for another teenager, Lee Smith, who has been ruled out with an ankle strain.

"I've been keen to give him a go," said the coach, Tony Smith. "He scored two tries against a good Wigan Under-21s team last week and showed power, strength and speed."

Stephen Wild and Martin Aspinwall make a quick competitive return to the JJB Stadium when Huddersfield visit tonight. The pair were released at the end of last season and both played a major role in the Giants first win of the season, over Warrington last week.

The Wigan captain, Sean O'Loughlin, says that he is expecting no favours, especially from Wild, who, along with another of Huddersfield's other ex-Wigan players, Stuart Jones, was joint best man at his wedding.

Seven tries in last weekend's Academy match has not been enough to earn Andy Smith a first-team chance for Bradford against Salford in this evening's other game. Smith, the object of interest from Castleford in midweek, was omitted as the Bulls reduced their squad to 18 yesterday, with Karl Pryce set to hang on to the left-wing role if Lesley Vainikolo is not fit.

Salford, with two wins from two games, are without the suspended John Wilshere and await the return of Luke Robinson.

Wakefield have signed Hull's utility back, Tom Saxton, on a month's loan and he goes straight into their squad for Saturday's game at Harlequins RL. Although he is only 22, Saxton has made over 100 Super League appearances since starting his career with Castleford.

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