Halifax plea delays Davis' Castleford comeback

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The Independent Online

Brad Davis's second debut for Castleford this Sunday is in doubt as Halifax hold out for compensation for the contract he signed to play for them.

Brad Davis's second debut for Castleford this Sunday is in doubt as Halifax hold out for compensation for the contract he signed to play for them.

The bottom club in Super League wants to bring back the 36-year-old half-back, who last played for them in 1990, from France, where he has been playing and coaching at Villeneuve. But Halifax want players on loan to sugar the pill of losing him.

"Castleford have come in for Brad but we are holding out for a better deal than they have offered us," said the Halifax assistant coach, Mick Scott. "We want him to stay with us but if he decides to go we want to be well compensated.''

Castleford have recalled two of their young players, Richard Blakeway and Dean Ripley, from loan at Featherstone and they could be part of any eventual deal, but Halifax also want a more experienced player as part of the package and those they have suggested are reluctant to drop down a division, even temporarily.

"It's the sort of thing that could be settled at any time and, if it is, Brad could be in the side against Warrington on Sunday," said David Smart, Castleford's spokesman.

If Davis does return he will take over from one of Sunday's opponents, the Warrington forward Mike Forshaw, as Super League's oldest player.

Martin Aspinwall is back in Wigan's 18-man squad for their game against Leeds tomorrow. Gary Connolly will play against the club that told him he was no longer wanted last month.

Darren Smith, who played for St Helens last season, is to return to top flight rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos this weekend. Smith, who was also recalled by Australia last autumn, has been playing as a part-time professional for Brisbane Easts, but the Broncos' lengthening injury list means that he has been loaned to them for the match against Parramatta.

The former Wigan hooker, Martin Hall, who won seven caps playing for Wales, has expressed an interest in coaching the national side. The post is vacant following the resignation of the Widnes coach, Neil Kelly.

''I'd love to have a crack at the job,'' said Hall. "It's been close to my heart and I would see it as a great privilege.''

Dean Noble, son of the Bradford and Great Britain coach, Brian Noble, is to join Keighley. Lusi Sione, the full-back who scored a hat-trick for New Zealand A against Great Britain last year, will make his Workington debut against Dewsbury this Sunday.

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