Rugby League: Bradford deny bid to sign Guscott: Car starts rumour

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IF Bradford Northern put the same passion into their Premiership semi-final on Sunday that they have brought to denying any intention of signing Jeremy Guscott, then Castleford are in deep trouble, writes Dave Hadfield.

Rumours moved rather faster than the sponsored car that was alleged to have given the game away yesterday, but the Bradford chairman, Chris Caisley, put up an impregnable roadblock. 'There's absolutely nothing in it,' he insisted. 'All I can do is to deny it emphatically.'

Guscott, a previous target for Wigan and St Helens, has long been linked with a possible move into league and his decision to pull out of England's tour to South Africa, to rest a groin injury that has wrecked his season, could be read as a signal of intent.

But Bradford, despite a successful season, attract only modest crowds, and it is hard to see how they could finance a move for such an expensive property. They have shown ingenuity and ambition in financing deals to bring Deryck Fox and Paul Newlove to Odsal, but there is a limit to their ability to swim against the financial tide.

Caisley, who has had business dealings with Guscott in his role as a solicitor, was equally dismissive of suggestions that the club is interested in signing Guscott's Bath team-mate, Mike Catt.

The side Caisley and his coach, Peter Fox, have built finished second in the Championship this season and will start as narrow favourites at home tomorrow to progress into next week's Premiership final at Old Trafford.

Fox expects to field the same line-up which accounted for Leeds in the first round last week. Castleford, still without Tony Kemp, hope that Grant Anderson might be available again after injury.

In the Second Division play-offs, Workington Town's bid to reach Old Trafford for the second successive season is unlikely to be thwarted by Batley, even though the Yorkshire side have enjoyed a fine season.