Whitehead tipped for England call-up

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The Independent Online

The Bradford chairman, Peter Hood, has tipped the club's 21-year-old forward, Elliot Whitehead, to force his way into the England side. The second-rower has agreed a contract extension to keep him at Odsal until 2013, even though he was already under contract for next season.

"Elliot has been tremendous for us since coming into the side," Hood said. "We are delighted to have him at the club for the next three years, during which time we fully expect him to make his full international debut."

Whitehead played in 29 of the Bulls' 30 games during a season when the form and potential of a number of young players was the only real bright spot for the club. Bradford have already announced the signing of several newcomers for next season, but are keen to hang onto home-grown talent like Whitehead.

Featherstone Rovers go into Sunday's Championship Grand Final against Halifax with a virtual clean sweep of the season's individual awards. Their scrum-half, Liam Finn, was named as the competition's Player of the Year. Zak Hardaker shared the Young Player of the Year award with Batley's Gareth Moore and Daryl Powell was named as Coach of the Year.

In Championship 1, Hunslet's David March won the players' award, pipping his twin brother, their player-coach, Paul. South Wales Scorpions' Anthony Seibold was Coach of the Year.

Papua New Guinea's new coach, Stanley Gene, has named three British-based players in his first team. Hunslet pair Michael Mark and Charlie Wabo will play for the Kumuls against an Australian Prime Minister's XIII, along with Jesse Joe Parker, who is moving from Featherstone to Wakefield for the 2011 season.