Sharp hails versatile Elford

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The Independent Online

Huddersfield have signed a second member of last year's Australian Premiership winners for next season. Shane Elford will join his Wests Tigers team-mate, John Skandalis, at the Giants on a three-year deal.

Elford can play centre, wing or stand-off. "He's a big, physical player with proven try-scoring ability," the Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp said. "I'm expecting Shane to make a big impact on Super League."

Elford has a British father, has applied for a passport and, like Skandalis who has Greek ancestry, is not expected to count on the club's import quota. "The Giants certainly seem to be a club going places and I'm looking forward to being a part of that," he said.

Australia's leading player, Andrew Johns, has escaped with a two-match ban for abusing a touch-judge while playing for the Newcastle Knights.

Johns' agent had said that, if he was more severely punished, he would finish his career in England, where he played for Warrington at the end of last season. Warrington have been monitoring the situation, but now that Johns will be clear to play in the National Rugby League play-offs the prospect of luring him to Super League has again receded.

Kirk Yeaman, Super League's leading try-scorer with 21 in 15 games before injuring knee ligaments in June, is back for Hull against Salford on Sunday.

"It's a great boost to have Kirk back at such a crucial stage of the season, but there is no pressure on him," his coach, Peter Sharp, said. "Nobody expects him to storm back and pick up the pieces where he left off."

Castleford's Waine Pryce has agreed a one-year extension to his contract which runs out at the end of this season. The winger is out for the rest of this campaign after breaking his leg, but Danny Brough returns after suspension for the match at Bradford tomorrow night.