Newlove back in action for Bradford

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
DAVE HADFIELD

Paul Newlove is due to return to action for the Bradford Bulls team he wants to leave in tomorrow's Stones Centenary Championship fixture at Halifax.

The Great Britain centre, who has had a transfer request turned down, missed Bradford's first two matches of the season with a shin injury. Newlove, arguably the country's most valuable player, is now fit - if not necessarily reconciled - and the club say, optimistically, there is no question of him "staying away" to try to force a transfer.

David Myers moves back into his usual position of wing, with Carl Hall partnering Newlove in the centres, Robbie Paul at full-back and Paul Dixon also returning after injury in the pack.

The Halifax coach, Steve Simms, uses the same squad that accounted for the London Broncos in midweek, but with Paul Moriarty, who arrived late for that game, starting the match instead of Carl Gillespie.

The newly appointed Workington Town coach, Kurt Sorensen, takes charge of his team for the first time at home to Sheffield Eagles. Sorensen, who previously coached Whitehaven, said: "I expect it to be tough at first and there's a bit of sorting out to do, but I'm ready for the challenge."

The most important match of the weekend, however, is held over until Monday to preserve the tradition of St Helens and Wigan facing each other on Bank Holidays. Both sides have begun the season in sparkling form; the usual service from Wigan but a marked contrast with Saints' undistinguished play this time last year.

A summer of uninterrupted preparation - possible now that Saints, like Wigan, consist of full-time professionals - has undoubtedly helped. The belief at Knowsley Road is that they now have a squad capable of riding the inevitable ups and downs of the season. With Alan Hunte and Tommy Martyn ruled out with long-term injuries, they have Joey Hayes continuing on the wing and Scott Gibbs at stand-off.

Warrington's Welsh prop Mark Jones and Bradford Bulls' Kiwi pack star Eugene Bourneville have been ordered to appear before the Rugby League disciplinary committee next Thursday. Both players were referred to the committee today after the RL's three-man executive panel studied a video recording of Wednesday night's championship match at Odsal.

The two forwards had been placed on report by the Wigan referee Bob Connolly after a 57th-minute skirmish which involved players from both teams.

The League will not be taking any action against Vila Matautia, St Helens' Western Samoan forward, who had been placed on report by referee Colin Morris during Wednesday's match at Oldham.

First Division Hull have transfer-listed their former Leeds forward Gary Rose at pounds 35,000, saying the player walked out on training after being told he was on the substitutes' bench for the match at Batley in midweek.

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