Rugby league: Edwards back on bench at Broncos

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WHEREVER YOU look, it is a big weekend for scrum-halves, both established and emerging, in Super League. Great Britain's three leading specialists in what remains the most influential position on the field all make fresh starts of various sorts, even if Shaun Edwards sits out the first match of his return to the London Broncos at Halifax tonight.

Edwards is struggling with a chest injury, so with Glen Air also out with a knee problem, Tony Currie has named Damien Chapman and the returning John Timu at half-back. The temptation to use Edwards for at least part of the match will be strong, however.

Halifax will be without the suspended Kelvin Skerrett, but his and Edwards' former Wigan team-mate, Martin Hall, has joined them until the end of the season.

The Great Britain scrum-half, Bobbie Goulding, returns to St Helens' starting line-up against Salford, with Sean Long becoming stand-off and Tommy Martyn moving, for the first time, to loose forward.

"I thought Bobbie came on and did a few things at Sheffield when the people around him weren't doing much," said his coach, Shaun McRae, who dropped him a month ago. "If I can get him, Tommy and Sean on the field at the same time, that's something I want to try."

Karle Hammond and Paul Davidson are relegated to the bench, while Paul Sculthorpe will have a late fitness test.

Goulding's partner in the 1995 World Cup, Tony Smith, returns to Wigan's team after a four-match absence with a knee injury, a further boost for the league leaders at Castleford. Simon Haughton could return via the substitutes' bench.

It could also be a memorable weekend for Paul Deacon, named as one of the scrum-halves in the Emerging England squad to play Wales next month, but still to make his first-team debut for Bradford. Deacon, a 19-year- old signed from Oldham, should do just that against Huddersfield tomorrow, following the Bulls' decision to offload Edwards.

Bradford should also have Brian McDermott and Matt Calland back from injury and James Lowes from suspension as they try to end a three-match losing sequence.

Second-placed Leeds visit Warrington with Adrian Morley and Marc Glanville still missing. Daryl Powell continues at loose forward. With Lee Briers still out, John Duffy remains at scrum-half for Warrington.

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