Wakefield's pursuit of Ward faces foreign competition

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Wakefield have confirmed their interest in the sacked Leeds prop Danny Ward but could face opposition from overseas.

"Something could be finalised by the weekend, but there are still a number of options on both sides of the water," said Ward's agent, Ron Hill, who has spoken to the Super League newcomers, the Catalan Dragons, and to several clubs in Australia's NRL.

The complications for the French club are that they are still waiting to appoint their new coach and that they have already signed the eight overseas players to which they have limited themselves.

The Wakefield coach, Tony Smith, has a gap in his squad, following the breakdown of the deal to sign the Newcastle winger, Craig Hall, because of injury. "Danny is a player I admire and we have a place open on the 20-20 rule," he said. "But I would prefer a centre or winger."

Smith is to field his two new overseas signings, Monty Betham and Ned Catic, in tonight's friendly at York. He has denied any interest in bringing Henry Paul back from Gloucester to his first British club.

Castleford's Terry Matterson, another to express an interest in Ward, plans to field seven debutants in Wakefield's second friendly of the weekend on Sunday. They include Danny Nutley, Luke Dyer and Danny Sculthorpe with Willy Manu and Richard Fa'aoso due to fly in today to also take part in the game.

Matterson now describes their chances of signing the Australian centre Ryan McGoldrick as only 50-50.

Paul Deacon is to make his comeback from his severe facial injuries in the Tri-Nations this Sunday at Huddersfield - the same ground on which he suffered the damage.

"I might have a few flashbacks, but it won't make much difference to me," he said. "It's just a field with grass and two sets of sticks."

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