Rugby League: Record gate expected as Bulls seek rousing finale

BRADFORD ARE increasingly confident of celebrating their status as leaders of the JJB Super League with a record crowd for the competition tonight, writes Dave Hadfield.

The Bulls, already assured of finishing first as they go into the play- offs, entertain Leeds, who attracted the present record of 21,666 for the reverse fixture in June.

With an unbeaten home record for the season at stake, Bradford believe they can top that, although it is Leeds who have something tangible to play for, as they can go above St Helens and into second place.

Leeds have a stronger side available than the one that beat Wigan a week ago, with Adrian Morley and Anthony Farrell returning after suspension.

They both come into the starting line-up, with Andy Hay dropping to the bench and young Andy Speak starting ahead of Lee Jackson in place of the still-banned Terry Newton.

"Having to sit in the stands last week will have been a great motivator," said the Leeds coach, Graham Murray, of his returning forwards. "Both players will have had time to think and I'm sure that they are good enough to bounce back."

Bradford will be at full strength, apart from Mike Forshaw - and even he is now expected to be fit in time for the Grand Final on 9 October, if the Bulls progress that far.

Forshaw was thought to be out for the season when he damaged a leg in the victory at Hull last week, but his injury is not as bad as at first feared. He has fractured a bone at the base of his fibula but, with intensive rehabilitation, should be fit within a month.

Jon Wells, the winger who has played his part in Castleford's recent surge into the top five, is to play for England in The Independent-sponsored Student Rugby League World Cup, subject to his commitments with his club in the Super League play-offs.

Wells, a student at Leeds University, has been included in England's provisional squad for the tournament, which starts on 3 October, the same day as the final qualifying match that leads to the Old Trafford Grand Final.

One other Super League player is already earmarked to play for England in the competition - the Huddersfield full-back, Mark Sibson, who is on loan from Bramley as the Giants try to avoid relegation from Super League.

Ireland have named players of note in their squad. Apart from Gateshead's Brian Carney, they have included the former Swinton, Leigh and Oldham utility back, Paul Topping, and Liam Bretherton, the Wigan back.

Canada have been included in Wales' group in the tournament after uncertainty over the arrival of Papua New Guinea. "We just haven't been able to contact PNG, so Canada have stepped in," the tournament organiser, Niel Wood, said.

"Mind you, I wouldn't rule out getting a phone call from the airport telling me that PNG have arrived anyway."

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003