Lavea's refusal adds to half-back woe at Widnes

Widnes have failed in a bid for another international stand-off and have an extra problem at half-back for today's visit of St Helens with Ryan Sheridan struggling to recover from a bout of illness.

Having admitted defeat in their attempt to sign Henry Paul from rugby union's Gloucester, the Vikings lowered their sights to try to recruit Tasesa Lavea, who played alongside him for New Zealand in the 2000 World Cup, but has had his career blighted by injury since. Lavea had agreed terms, but has now decided to stay in Australia, where he has played for Melbourne and the Northern Eagles, leaving Widnes still lacking in a key position.

Dean Lawford has been filling in at stand-off, but he could be needed at scrum-half if Sheridan is still unwell after being unable to train this week, forcing the Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, to improvise at No 6.

Saints could be without Paul Sculthorpe, as well as Martin Gleeson, Keiron Cunningham, Paul Wellens and their first choice stand-off, Tommy Martyn, who has broken his arm.

The gate for the derby at the Halton Stadium could help Super League towards a record aggregate for a round of six matches. The best ever recorded is 55,374 in April 2000 and Hull's attendance boom, reflected again by the crowd for the visit of London last night, got this weekend off to a flying start.

It will get new impetus tomorrow, when Bradford return to Odsal after a two-year exile at Valley Parade. The significance of the homecoming should add several thousand to the numbers wanting to see what has been rather a routine task against Wakefield in recent years.

If the event has the emotional pull the Bulls hope it will have, even the record of 62,274, for a seven-game round in 1999, could be under threat – something Super League will be delighted to point to at the end of a season when it must renegotiate its television contract.

Robbie Paul could miss out for Bradford, while Jamie Field returns for Trinity in place of Clinton O'Brien.

Leeds's visit to Warrington should also play its part in bumping up the figures. Injuries to Chris McKenna and Danny Ward make the Rhinos look a little more vulnerable than they might normally have been to a Warrington side which has shown signs of improvement this season. Chev Walker and Chris Feather come in.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?