Rudder setback for Castleford

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The Independent Online

Castleford, who have not had the bestfortune with the fitness of overseas recruits in recent years, have had a pre-season scare over Sean Rudder. The former stand-off for Newcastle Knights, seen as the replacement for the departed Danny Orr, is expected to be out of action for six weeks after damaging cartilage in both knees.

That will rule him out of Cas' Boxing Day trial match at Leeds, but his new coach, Graham Steadman, is hopeful that he will be fit for other pre-season games. Steadman will give goal-kicking duties at Headingley to Jonny Hepworth. The departures of Orr, to Wigan, and Wayne Bartim, who has returned to Australia, have left Castleford without an obvious front-line kicker.

Another former Newcastle player, Bill Peden, has agreed to stay for another year with the London Broncos.

Huddersfield have broken through the £100,000 mark in season ticket sales before Christmas for the first time.

Next season the game is likely to adopt a new method of restarting play after an attacking player is held up over the try-line. At present, if that happens before the last tackle, the attacking side gets a scrum and a new set, which is felt to reward them too heavily. Under the new system, the attacking team would continue with the tackle count from a play-the-ball on the 10-metre line.