Farrell comeback for Halifax

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The veteran Welsh international forward Anthony Farrell has come out of retirement to try to help Halifax regain their Super League status.

The 34-year-old former Huddersfield, Sheffield, Leeds and Widnes front-rower retired after playing in the defeat by England A last month, but has been talked into a one-year contract at The Shay.

"It is great news for all supporters of the club," said Halifax's football manager, Paul Dixon. "He is an aggressive and formidable forward who never gives an inch and his experience in the pack will be a massive boost to our youngsters."

One of those young players, however, has joined the exodus. The 19-year-old prop Byron Smith, who made six Super League appearances this year, has joined Castleford on a one-year contract. Castleford say that Smith completes their squad for the 2004 season.

Warrington have signed two young hopefuls on full-time contracts. The scrum-half Jamie Durbin has signed on for three years, the full-back Nick Owen for one, and the prop or second-rower Steve Pickersgill has a two-year, part-time deal.

Wakefield have completed the signing of two wingers from Australia, Justin Ryder from Newcastle Knights and Semi Tadulala from Melbourne Storm.

Stuart Wilkinson, who coached the England Academy Under-17 team to their 2-0 series victory over the Australian Institute of Sport last week, has tipped the two players who scored two tries apiece at Featherstone on Wednesday night for big futures in the game. Wilkinson said that the St Helens prop, James Graham, "will go on to have a great career", and predicted equal success for Karl Pryce, the brother of Bradford's Leon.

The Australian Rugby League has refunded around £2,700 to players who had money stolen from their Leeds hotel during the recent Kangaroo tour. The ARL has held an investigation after suggestions that a member of the party was responsible, but has not solved the mystery.