Pryce and Reardon avoid jail sentences

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The Independent Online

Leon Pryce and Stuart Reardon both avoided jail when they were sentenced for assault at Bradford magistrates' court yesterday.

The Great Britain internationals had been warned that they faced prison sentences when Reardon admitted assaulting his estranged wife and Pryce her new partner when they appeared at the court last month. But yesterday a different judge ordered Pryce to do 100 hours' community service. Reardon was given a suspended 12-week sentence and ordered to do 200 hours' unpaid work.

Pryce has continued to play for St Helens with a possible jail sentence hanging over him and had been included in the squad to play Bradford tonight.

Reardon's career, however, appears to be in tatters after Hull, who signed him from Warrington only 12 days ago, released him yesterday after he failed a medical on the Achilles tendon injury that has kept him out of action throughout the court case.

Deputy district judge Alan Fowler described the attack as "astonishingly frightening," but accepted that Pryce, who like Reardon had been drinking, had initially gone to the house to try to keep the peace. He should have left when Reardon knocked down the door, the judge said, but pushed the man, Damon O'Brien, so that he fell on to a pedal bin.

In a statement, St Helens said that Pryce's position would be discussed at a board meeting next week and that they would be saying nothing more about the matter until then.

Julien Rinaldi, the France international hooker signed on a short-term contract, will make his debut for the Bulls at Saints this evening. Bradford, already badly affected by injuries, have lost their young centre Jason Crookes for the season with knee ligament damage.

Castleford have rested their forward Joe Westerman from this Sunday's match at the Celtic Crusaders after he was knocked out against St Helens last Sunday.

Leigh are trying to clarify the position of Joe Williams, the Australian half-back who has denied signing for them after being announced as a new recruit earlier this week.