Rugby league: Harvey on his way to take over at Salford

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The Independent Online
SALFORD WILL play their last game tomorrow before the arrival next week of John Harvey, who is to take over as their coach. The Australian has obtained his work permit and will be on the next available flight, too late to see Salford in action at St Helens but in time for next Sunday's match at home to Wakefield.

The former Manly and Eastern Suburbs prop has been appointed until the end of the season and his fitness specialist, Rudi Meier, is also expected to arrive on a short-term contract next week.

John Foran's successful caretaker period - with five points that have lifted the Reds from the foot of Super League - will therefore end against the league leaders at Knowsley Road. Salford will be without Steve Blakeley with a recurrence of his foot injury, and Garen Casey is likely to take over as stand-off and goalkicker, although Simon Svabic is also added to the squad. Paul Sculthorpe is out of Saints' line-up, but Paul Atcheson could be fit to return at full-back.

Saints' closest pursuers, Bradford, go to Chesterfield to meet the Sheffield Eagles this afternoon, a change of venue necessitated by the Rolling Stones strutting their aged stuff at the Don Valley Stadium.

On a compact ground and with a guaranteed turn-out by the Bulls' supporters, Sheffield's players will have the novel experience of performing amid a vibrant atmosphere. Whether that will outweigh the effects of a tough match at Wigan on Wednesday and the loss of Mark Aston is another matter.

It is a mark of Wakefield's achievements so far this season that their captain and main close-season signing, Tony Kemp, who returned at Warrington last week, will probably have to be content again with a place on the bench against Castleford tomorrow.

Kemp has now recovered from a back injury, while another of their main creators, Willie Poching, could take a place among the substitutes after recovering from his knee ligament problems. Castleford's captain, Adrian Vowles, will be absent after breaking his finger against Leeds last week.

Wigan add Denis Betts to their squad for the trip to Hull, whose position at the foot of the Super League table shows little sign of improving.

The side most closely in their sights are Huddersfield, who are only two points ahead but must fancy their chances against the London Broncos, sunk deep in a losing habit, at the McAlpine Stadium tomorrow evening.