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Preview: Weekend's rugby league action

It promises to be a big weekend for Hull as both of the city's Super League clubs get their campaigns underway. First up tonight is Hull FC - who take on the Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium.

Then on Sunday the Hull Kingston Rovers welcome Leeds Rhinos to the newly named KC Lightstream Stadium.

Chris Dawkes has assessing both clubs chances:


Warrington back-row joins Bulls

Bradford have snapped up Warrington back-row forward Danny Bridge and are now on the lookout for a new prop following confirmation of Garreth Carvell's move to Hull.

Press Association

Bulls coach Francis Cummins' already-slim resources were stretched further when Carvell, the club's major close-season signing from Warrington, pulled out of his two-year deal to return to his first professional club.

Carvell's move comes less than a week after Bradford issued a hands-off warning to Hull but it is thought the player was able to obtain a release from his contract due to the recent change of ownership.

Carvell is the second close-season signing to leave the Bulls without making a single Super League appearance, with second rower Frank Winterstein released at his own request.

Garreth Carvell has moved to Hull Credit: Press Association

Cummins has brought in Bridge, the 21-year-old younger brother of Warrington's former Bradford centre Chris Bridge, as a stop-gap measure, initially on a month's loan, and is now scouring the market for a front rower.

Bridge, who made two Super League appearances for the Wolves last season, trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday and, with an injury doubt over new signing Dale Ferguson, is likely to go straight into the Bradford side for Sunday's opening game against Castleford.

Bradford already have centre James Saltonstall on loan from Warrington and may make a move for Welsh prop Ben Evans, who spent last season on loan at Odsal but is in the Wolves squad for Thursday's game against St Helens.

The cash-strapped Bulls have lost star forwards John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead in the last six months but they received some good news this week with the decision of front rower Adam Sidlow and half-back Luke Gale to sign two-year contract extensions.

Gale, the club's new vice-captain, had been targeted by Hull and had already been linked with a move to Wakefield.

Carvell re-signs for Hull

Hull have confirmed the signing of prop Garreth Carvell for a second time and named him in their squad for their opening Super League match of the season against Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium on Friday.

Press Association

The 32-year-old joined Bradford on a two-year contract from Warrington in the close season but played only one trial match for the Bulls before seeking a move.

Carvell, who made 164 appearances for the Airlie Birds from 2001-08 including two Challenge Cup finals and the 2006 Grand Final, returns to East Yorkshire on an initial one-year contract with an option for a further 12 months.

Watts out for four weeks

Liam Watts Credit: Press Association

Hull FC forward Liam Watts will miss the opening month of the First Utility Super League season because of a knee injury.

The 23-year-old former Hull KR prop sustained knee-ligament damage during his side's pre-season friendly defeat at Featherstone last weekend.

"It's obviously disappointing for us and especially Liam who is a big part of our pack," said Hull coach Lee Radford. "His presence will be missed but it presents another opportunity for another of the players."


Davies back for Tigers

Curtis Davies is available again for Hull's Barclays Premier League match at Swansea on Monday.

The defender missed the midweek defeat at Arsenal through suspension and boss Steve Bruce must decide whether to recall him in place of James Chester.

Striker Matty Fryatt will also be hoping to figure for Hull having recently returned to the club following a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

Provisional squad: McGregor, Harper, Davies, Chester, Faye, Figueroa, Bruce, Rosenior, Elmohamady, Boyd, Brady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Koren, Sagbo, Gedo, Graham, Fryatt.

Hull make it super seven

Jordan Rankin takes Hull's new signings up to seven Credit:

Hull have taken their number of new signings to seven with the capture of former Australian Schoolboys captain Jordan Rankin from Gold Coast Titans on a two-year deal.

The 21-year-old stand-off will be a straight replacement for Daniel Holdsworth, who was released at the end of the 2013 season to enable him to return to the NRL, and was signed on the recommendation of his new half-back partner and former team-mate Jacob Miller.

Rankin made his NRL debut at the age of 16 but went on to make just 17 further appearances.

He will line up alongside Mickey Paea, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Chris Tuson, Jordan Thompson, Tom Biggs and Fetuli Talanoa at the new-look Black and Whites.

Video: Funeral of Steve Prescott MBE

Hundreds turned out today to pay their last respects to a man who made his name in the rough and tough world of rugby league - and ended up inspiring a nation with his incredible fund raising.

Steve Prescott defied the odds for so long after being diagnosed with cancer but eventually lost his battle with the diseases just over a week ago. He played for Hull FC and Wakefield and dozens of international stars were in Saint Helens today to say a final goodbye. Emma Wilkinson reports.

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