Eaton the cure for injury-hit Castleford

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The Independent Online

Castleford have signed the Dewsbury scrum-half, Barry Eaton, on loan for the rest of the Super League season.

Castleford have signed the Dewsbury scrum-half, Barry Eaton, on loan for the rest of the Super League season.

Eaton was a pivotal figure in Dewsbury's victory over Leigh in the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final last weekend, but it is still uncertain whether his club will be promoted as a result. Now, however, he will get a chance to test himself at the top level, playing for a club that has more than its share of injury problems at the moment.

Castleford need to improve dramatically on their collapse against Warrington last week if their grip on the fifth play-off spot is to look secure once more. Perhaps fortunately for the Tigers, they have the chance to recuperate tomorrow against the bottom club Huddersfield-Sheffield.

They will, though, be without the injured Aaron Raper and the suspended Dean Sampson, with Logan Campbell, Jon Wells and Andrew Purcell all facing fitness tests. The Giants will have Leroy Rivett, on loan from Leeds for the rest of the season, making his debut.

The top three clubs in Super League all have games that they will expect to win. St Helens could have Paul Atcheson back at full-back after a knee injury in place of Paul Wellens, who has damaged a hand. Their opponents, the London Broncos, could be without their former St Helens player, Karle Hammond, for the rest of the season, also with a hand injury. Hammond, whose contract is up at the end of the season, could even have played his last game for the club.

Second-placed Wigan have their first-choice hooker Terry Newton back after missing two matches with a foot injury for their trip to Wakefield, who have Bobbie Goulding, Paul Sampson, Willie Poching and Francis Stephenson back in action.

Bradford have a full squad available, with the possible exception of Nathan McAvoy, for their game at Halifax. Michael Withers and David Boyle are back after extended lay-offs, whilst Henry Paul's ankle has recovered after a scare last week.

"I found the only pothole on the pitch, but it was only a small ligament and it has come good," said Paul. "We've got a full squad back now with everyone fighting for their places."

Halifax, who had hoped to sign Eaton and still plan to take Leigh's Paul Anderson on loan, will test Damien Gibson.

Salford have no less than 11 first-team players missing for their trip to Warrington, who will be without the injured Danny Nutley.

The Lincoln World Cup is to run an ambitious schools development programme before, during and after the tournament this autumn. The sports outfitters Gola are backing a the programme which has a special emphasis on areas outside the game's traditional heartlands. The NSPCC has been adopted as the official charity of the World Cup.

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