Mickey Higham, the St Helens hooker, will miss the Powergen Challenge Cup final after fracturing his ankle during the warm-up before last Sunday's semi-final.
Higham does not always start matches but offers an important tactical variation for Saints. He is expected to be out for three months, ruling him out of much of the Super League season as well as the final against Wigan in Cardiff on 15 May. "It's a devastating loss for the player with the Challenge Cup final coming up," said his coach, Ian Millward. "It's also a real loss for the team, because he has played a huge role in our success so far this season."
Bradford could be in trouble with the Rugby League after a complaint from Warrington that they had 14 players on the field for a spell during the drawn match between the two on Tuesday. Warrington say that their club video shows the Bulls bringing on a substitute for their hooker, Aaron Smith, during the early stages at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, but the injured player staying active on the pitch for another minute.
Clubs were warned about their substitution procedures when Saints were found to have made the same mistake two years ago. In Australia, the Brisbane Broncos have been docked two competition points this season for having an extra man on the field, but the League here has no equivalent powers.
The London Broncos are likely to play both their new loan signings from Leeds, Jason Netherton and Dwayne Barker, against Bradford on Monday. Nigel Roy is the latest addition to an injury list headed by Jim Dymock, who had a knee operation yesterday and is expected to be out for another month.
Leeds expect to be without their in-form hooker, Matt Diskin, for tomorrow's game at St Helens, although their captain, Kevin Sinfield, should be fit to return after missing one match with an arm injury.
Castleford say that it could be a month before they appoint a coach to replace Graham Steadman, who was sacked last week. The club have had over 20 applications and Gary Mercer will remain in charge for at least the next two games, against Wigan and Bradford. Cas will be without Sean Rudder, who has had eye socket surgery, and Dean Ripley, who has a fractured jaw.
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