Shoulder injury ends Spruce era at Bradford

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The Independent Online

Stuart Spruce's career at Bradford is over, following the news that he will not play again this season. Spruce injured his shoulder at Hull before the Challenge Cup final and has not played since.

As this is the last year of Spruce's contract with the Bulls and they have not offered him another, this marks the end of his time with the club.

The former Great Britain full-back arrived from Widnes in 1996 and, until his injury, was an integral part of all their successes from then on. During his absence, Michael Withers has shone at full-back, making it inevitable that Spruce would be released, although the player, now aged 30, still hopes to revive his career elsewhere. "I haven't given up hope of playing again," he said. "The shoulder feels better, but I know if I do return it will be to a lesser club than the Bulls."

Warrington have made their loan signing of Jon Clarke from the London Broncos a permanent deal. The former Wigan hooker was brought in on trial after Warrington's regular in the position, Dave Highton, was suspended by the Rugby League for drug abuse and later sacked by the club. Clarke has been an integral part of the Wolves' late bid for a top five spot.

Warrington's captain, Allan Langer, arrives back from Australia today, following his triumph playing for Queensland in their State of Origin victory over New South Wales. He will be available for selection for Saturday's match at St Helens.

Castleford have allowed Gareth Handford to return to Bradford. The prop forward, who played 11 times for Castleford at the start of the season, has not played for the club since Graham Steadman replaced Stuart Raper as captain.

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