Rugby League: Cut hand rules McNamara out of tour

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The Bradford Bulls forward Steve McNamara is out of Great Britain's tour after an accident that could have cost him the use of his hand.

McNamara was helping out at his local amateur club, Skirlaugh, on Saturday when he tripped while carrying a crate of bottles, cutting his palm and damaging nerves and tendons. Three hours of surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary saved his career, but the player is understandably disappointed at missing the tour to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand. The players fly out on Friday.

"I had got my move from Hull to Bradford in the hope of more international honours, and I was playing well there," McNamara said. "I have been lucky in one way because I nicked the artery and the doctors have told me that if the main cut had been there I could have lost my hand."

McNamara is replaced by Barrie-Jon Mather, the former Wigan centre or second-row and an England World Cup player. Mather has spent this season with Perth's Western Reds after transferring from Wigan.

Wigan have joined Sheffield Eagles and St Helens in making an inquiry for Warrington's pounds 1.35m transfer-listed Iestyn Harris. Warrington are to sign the Wigan and former Great Britain hooker Martin Dermott, and the New Zealand second-row Tony Tatupu.