Halifax resigned to absent Bentley

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Halifax have given up hope of having the Lions tourist John Bentley in their side for their World Club Championship match against Canterbury this weekend.

Bentley, a major success on the union tour to South Africa, is under contract to Halifax until the end of next season, but the club - which loaned him to Newcastle and then to the Lions - seems to have accepted that there is no chance of bringing him back into their fold at this short notice.

"He has not been involved in the preparation and therefore our coach, John Pendlebury, has not considered him for selection," a club spokesman said.

Halifax are still claiming that Bentley could be available for their games against the Canberra Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos, but the realistic prospect of that seems to be receding.

The club is holding a reunion tonight to coincide with the return of Chris Anderson, who coached them to the League Championship in 1986 and the Challenge Cup in 1987, and who now coaches Canterbury.

London Broncos have left their scrum-half Josh White out of their side to play Canberra on Monday. White, who has been linked with Hull and Salford for next season, has served a club suspension for missing a training session, but cannot win his place back from Robbie Beazley, who played in the position at Sheffield on Sunday.

Shaun Edwards, who missed that game through injury, can only make the substitutes' bench against the Raiders, but Martin Offiah will be back in the starting line-up. White has the slightly less glamorous assignment of playing for the Broncos' Alliance team against Dewsbury.

Bradford's half-back Robbie Paul is trying Maori herbal remedies in an effort to cure his foot injury in time for their game at the Auckland Warriors on Sunday. Paul damaged the foot in the Challenge Cup final in May and has not been fully fit since.

Wigan have denied that his elder brother, Henry Paul, has asked for a move.