Pryce in Saints squad for Grand Final send-off


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The Independent Online

Leon Pryce has been passed fit for St Helens' Super League Grand Final against Leeds on Saturday and will be named in their 19-man squad this afternoon. Pryce has made only eight appearances this season and missed the semi-final victory over Wigan with a stomach bug. However, he was able to train by Tuesday and will come into the reckoning for Old Trafford.

The Great Britain stand-off, who departs for the Catalan Dragons after the match, will not make Saints' starting line-up, but his coach, Royce Simmons, might be tempted to include a player with nine previous Grand Final appearances among the substitutes.

The Leeds coach, Brian McDermott, ha s said that a Saints-Rhinos Grand Final – the fourth in five years – is good for the health of the British game. "Both clubs have track records of developing and playing young, local players," he said. "That has been the cornerstone on which the clubs have built their success in recent years." The Warrington referee Phil Bentham will take charge of the game.

The Sydney Roosters' stand-off, Anthony Watts, has signed for Widnes. The former Cronulla and North Queensland player has agreed a one-year deal.

Nine players have been suspended for between one and two games for their parts in the brawl between Featherstone and Sheffield Eagles in the Championship Grand Final on Sunday. The game, which Featherstone won 40-4, was halted early in the second half after virtually all 26 players began fighting. Featherstone's Kirk Netherton and Sheffield Eagles' Joe Hirst were sent to the sin-bin for sparking the incident.

Barrow will learn their fate after a hearing tonight into a series of charges of financial irregularities. The Cumbrians face the likelihood of being relegated to Championship 1. Castleford's new coach, Ian Millward, has signed prop forward Steve Nash from Leigh.