Paul to face brother after switching back to league with Quins

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The Independent Online

Henry Paul has returned to his first love - rugby league - by signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with Harlequins RL.

The 32-year-old dual international - league for New Zealand and union for England - was released yesterday by Gloucester and signed for London's Super League representatives in time to make his debut against Huddersfield and his younger brother, Robbie, tomorrow.

"It's great news for Harlequins and rugby league in general," the club chairman, Ian Lenagan, said. "He is aware now that we are serious about winning things and becoming a force in the game. I've met him and seen his recent performances. The skill is still there and he's certainly still fit."

Paul has been in England since being spotted by Wakefield playing for the Junior Kiwis in 1993. He later played with great distinction for Wigan and Bradford. He switched codes by joining Gloucester in 2001, playing for England and becoming a regular in the English Sevens squad.

He has recently returned from the World Sevens in Hong Kong and has had an offer to play for Penrith in Australia's National Rugby League. "Henry prefers to join us and stay in England," Lenagan said. "He wants to go out with a bang and he can do that with Harlequins. It sends out a message to other players that we are serious about getting a squad together that can win the competition."

Paul said that he could not wait to get started on his second rugby league career. "To be lining up against Robbie is just the way the cards have fallen, but what a way for me to start at Quins," he said.

Widnes have signed the Welsh international scrum-half, Ian Watson, from Swinton in exchange for their former player, Lee Marsh, and an undisclosed fee. Watson goes straight into their squad for their National League 1 game at Whitehaven on Sunday.

Huddersfield have agreed a two-year contract extension with their Australian hooker, Brad Drew, whose current deal is due to expire at the end of this season.

Bradford have Brad Meyers back after a knee injury for tonight's game against the Catalans Dragons - the first match at home for their new coach, Steve McNamara. Francis Meli is back on the wing for the unbeaten St Helens against Wakefield in tonight's other game.

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