Rugby League: Play-off place in the balance

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WARRINGTON REMAIN third favourites, behind Gateshead and Castleford, to grab a place in the Super League play-offs, but they can alter those calculations if they garner two unscheduled points at Leeds tonight.

Four points behind Gateshead, with a game in hand, level on both points and games with Castleford but with a significantly inferior points difference to both, Warrington cannot afford another slip.

"We are not worrying about anyone else, but there is no doubt that we have a tough task at Leeds," said their coach, Darryl van de Velde. "They are probably the best team in the competition at the moment."

If Warrington do miss out, it will be largely because of a lack of size and depth in their pack.

Van de Velde was frustrated in his attempts to sign the Great Britain prop, Paul Broadbent, from Halifax this week when he was outbid by Gateshead, but he maintains an interest in Leeds' Martin Masella, who is on the bench at Headingley for tonight's match.

"I have a few irons in the fire, but I would really prefer to sign a British prop and not use an import spot," he said.

Dean Busby, who has been used as an emergency prop at times this season, has agreed a new two-year contract, as has the back-rower, Ian Knott.

Warrington's first-choice hooker, Danny Farrar, is fit after a back injury, with David Highton dropping to the bench.

Leeds, who can go back into second place, have Ryan Sheridan back at scrum-half and Richie Blackmore continuing his comeback. Marcus St Hilaire and Leroy Rivett are still ruled out.

Wigan's Andy Isherwood is in line to make his first Super League appearance of the season at Huddersfield on Sunday. The second-row man, who broke his leg in a pre-season friendly at Halifax, is named among the substitutes.