Paul to miss Penrith match as arm fails to heal in time

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The Independent Online

Bradford have suffered another setback for their World Club Challenge against Penrith with the news that their captain, Robbie Paul, will almost certainly miss the match.

Paul yesterday saw a specialist about the arm he broke last summer, and on which he later had an unsuccessful bone graft. He had been hoping to get the go-ahead to start full training but emerged disappointed.

"It's healing well, but it's obviously not enough for him to resume full training," the Bulls' spokesman, Stuart Duffy, said.

Paul will not be examined again until 11 January - just two days before their clash with the Australian champions at the McAlpine Stadium, for which they are already without their Great Britain scrum-half, Paul Deacon, after an eye operation.

That leaves Bradford with a problem at half-back, with Karl Pratt also recovering from a shoulder operation, but their coach, Brian Noble, has ruled out seeking a short-term replacement.

The former Great Britain forward Darren Fleary has been named as Huddersfield's new captain, succeeding Steve McNamara, who has joined the coaching staff at Bradford.

The British Amateur Rugby League Association has lost its place on the game's International Federation. BARLA, which was set up to run the amateur game in this country, is in the process of merging with the Rugby League and has had its separate associate membership of the RLIF cancelled.