Dragons look to bounce back without injury-hit Henderson
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Saturday 10 March 2012
The Catalan Dragons have to try to bounce back today from their first defeat of the season without a tranche of key players.
Most significantly, the Catalans are without their hooker and new England squad member, Ian Henderson. The Torquay-born, Australian-raised player was named this week for the preparations for this season's internationals – recognition for his outstanding form so far this season.
His selection, however, has coincided with an ankle injury that will keep him out for three weeks. It is just that sort of eventuality that prompted Trent Robinson to sign the former Halifax and Hull KR player Ben Fisher from Batley as cover when his No 2 hooker, Eloi Pelissier, was injured at the start of the season. Fisher will come straight into a side still without Steve Menzies, who has a dead leg. On top of that, Setaimata Sa is suspended and Clint Greenshields picked up a knock at Wigan last Sunday.
Opponents Salford, looking for a fourth win in a row, have a problem in the outside backs, with Ashley Gibson joining Jodie Broughton and Danny Williams on the injured list. Josh Veivers, the son of coach Phil, comes into the squad.
London Broncos have Dan Sarginson back in their squad as they try for their first win of the season against Castleford this afternoon. Ian Millward has told Cas that he will return to work on Monday, after being on compassionate leave since the death of his 19-year-old son.
In today's other match, Hull KR have Constantine Mika back from suspension against Bradford.
Wigan have three players in line for possible debuts at Widnes tomorrow. Anthony Gelling, the Cook Islander recruited this winter, could make his first appearance in the centres. The others included are Matty Russell, who scored two tries last week for Leigh, with whom he is on a joint registration, and Logan Tomkins, the hooker who is the younger brother of Sam and Joel.
Widnes could give a debut to Gareth O'Brien, the young stand-off on loan from Warrington.
Luke George makes his first return to Wakefield since signing for Huddersfield, fresh from last week's hat-trick against St Helens.
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