Smith receives all-clear after neck injury in training

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Salford's Australian forward, Jim Smith, has been cleared to carry on playing after a freak training accident that threatened his career. Smith landed on his head during a wrestling exercise with a team-mate on Friday and was taken to hospital for a neck scan.

"They weren't able to read the scan until Monday morning," Smith said. "I had the weekend to wait, with thousands of things going through my mind. But I've had the result and everything's all right."

By a bizarre coincidence, Smith was due to have lunch on the day of the accident with his former team-mate at Sydney City, Phil Clarke. Smith was on the field four years ago when Clarke broke his neck and was forced to end his career. "All that was going through my mind," said Smith, who is having treatment for his shoulder injury and could even be fit for the match against Wigan on Sunday.

The former Salford and Great Britain back-rower, David Bradbury, has signed for Huddersfield-Sheffield and could make his debut against Bradford on Sunday. Bradbury was released by Salford at the end of last season and has been playing for Warrington's Alliance team.

Both clubs have appealed to supporters to "restore the family image of the game" at that match - the first at the McAlpine Stadium since the Hull rampage after the Challenge Cup semi-final. "We would like the people of Huddersfield and Bradford to pack the stadium again on Sunday and show exactly how to enjoy a fantastic day out at what is a fabulous family sport," said the Giants' chief executive, Ralph Rimmer.

Warrington, who host Hull on Sunday night, have been "fine tuning" their security arrangements, according to their chief executive, Peter Deakin. "We look forward to welcoming all the decent, honest rugby league fans," he said. "But if any idiots think they will have a good day out they will be disappointed."

Lothian and Borders Police, who will have the job of overseeing the Cup final at Murrayfield next month, are to hold discussions with the Rugby League, but stressed they have not been thrown into a panic by one bad incident.

"The trouble was an exceptional incident in what is otherwise a well-behaved crowd," said a spokesman. "We will take into account of this weekend and will work closely with the RFL in devising our security and strategy for the game."

Ellery Hanley's solicitors have given St Helens until Friday to pay Hanley money he claims to be owed as a result of his sacking as coach, or court proceedings will be set in course.