Punctured lung puts Paul out until play-offs

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Robbie Paul, Bradford's captain and inspiration, is likely to be out of action until the Super League play-offs after fracturing two ribs and puncturing his lung in the draw at Halifax on Sunday. Paul was taken to hospital and the damage confirmed yesterday. It represents a serious blow to Bradford, whose form has stuttered of late.

Robbie Paul, Bradford's captain and inspiration, is likely to be out of action until the Super League play-offs after fracturing two ribs and puncturing his lung in the draw at Halifax on Sunday. Paul was taken to hospital and the damage confirmed yesterday. It represents a serious blow to Bradford, whose form has stuttered of late.

The club is studying a video of the incident to decide whether to ask the Rugby League to take any further action against Andy Hobson, who was sent off later in the same match for another incident involving the use of the knees in a tackle on Hudson Smith.

The England coach, John Kear, has admitted that he would be interested in coaching the re-born Gateshead Thunder in the Northern Ford Premiership next season. Gateshead were re-admitted to the League last week and Kear, sacked by Huddersfield-Sheffield last month, has said that he would relish the opportunity of leading them back into the professional game. He is under contract with England until after the World Cup in November and will be a candidate for the Great Britain job after that, but sees no problem in combining the roles.

Other candidates being linked with the Gateshead vacancy include the former Wakefield coach, Andy Kelly, and George Fairbairn, who last worked in rugby league as Scotland's coach two years ago. Kelly is also on the short list for the vacancy at Huddersfield-Sheffield, a job that is due to be filled tomorrow. Other British coaches - John Pendlebury, Andy Goodway and Brian Noble - have also been on the Giants' list, although there are applications from Australia, too.

The League is investigating claims that Wigan's coach and football executive, Frank Endacott and Dean Bell, were spat at by spectators at Wakefield on Sunday. On top of Wakefield's other problems, their coach, Tony Kemp, has announced that he is leaving the British game at the end of the season.

Four Leeds Rhinos players - Iestyn Harris, Karl Pratt, Chev Walker and Mark Calderwood - are to play to in a combined Leeds team in rugby union's Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham on Saturday.

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