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Bradford Bulls vs Catalan Dragons team news

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BULLS: Kearney, Williams, Henry, Purtell, Blythe, Gaskell, Gale, Manuokafoa, Diskin, Sidlow, Pitts, Olbison, Donaldson #BELONG

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DRAGONS STARTING LINE-UP: Escare, Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard, Pryce, Williams, Elima, Henderson, Lima, Taia, Whitehead, Baitieri

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Giants sign England youth captain to pro deal

Huddersfield have signed England youth captain Matthew English on a three-year professional contract.

English will play at the John Smiths Stadium
English will play at the John Smiths Stadium Credit: Press Association

English, 16, a front-row forward who plays for Wakefield amateur club Stanley Rangers, is following in the footsteps of last year's England youth skipper Liam Johnson, who has gone on to sign a full-time Super League contract with the Giants.

Huddersfield head of youth performance Andy Kelly said: "Matty had a number of academy options and we are delighted that he has chosen to further his development with the Huddersfield Giants."

Leeds secure teenager Walters on three-year deal

Leeds have rewarded teenage forward Josh Walters for his impressive start to his Super League career with a new three-year contract.

Josh Walters signs new Rhinos deal
Josh Walters signs new Rhinos deal Credit: Press Association

Walters, 19, who made the switch from rugby union just over a year ago, has scored two tries in his four appearances so far and is set to continue his run against Wakefield on Friday night.

"It is fantastic to have agreed a new long-term contract with the club," Walters said.

"It was always a goal for me when I came over from Leeds Carnegie to earn a full-time contract but I cannot believe how well things have worked out for me."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott said: "Josh has been superb over the last year and thoroughly deserves his new contract.

"I am sure he will continue to develop and this is another great example of how the management of the club are looking to secure the long-term future of our club."

Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash

Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield has been named in the 19 man squad to face Wakefield Wildcats on Friday.

Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash
Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash Credit: Press Association

The 33-year-old missed Sunday's victory over Catalan Dragons.

The Rhinos will be without Carl Ablett (shoulder) and Mitch Achurch (groin) who both picked up injuries in Sunday's dramatic win.

They join Ian Kirke (concussion), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (calf), Chris Clarkson (Achilles), Rob Burrow (collar bone) and Zak Hardaker (suspension) on the sidelines.

Head Coach Brian McDermott has recalled youngsters Robbie Ward and Elliot Minchella to the squad whilst Luke Briscoe could feature against the team he played for on loan at the start of the current season.

Pryce and Sneyd to join Hull FC

Leon Pryce

Hull have completed a double swoop for half-backs Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd for 2015.

The 32-year-old Pryce, who is out of contract with Catalan Dragons at the end of the season, has signed a two-year deal, while Hull have agreed a £100,000 transfer fee with Salford for the 22-year-old Sneyd, who is currently on a season-long loan at Castleford.

Sneyd, who recently had a transfer request rejected by the Red Devils, has signed a three-year contract with the Black and Whites, with an option to extend the deal.

Pryce - a former Great Britain stand-off - has won 24 international caps and is thought to have fielded offers from Wakefield and Featherstone as well his home-town club Bradford but has opted to team up with his old Bulls team-mate Lee Radford, the Hull head coach.

Marc Sneyd

Castleford were keen to retain the services of Sneyd, who has been a revelation in their outstanding season, but are thought to have baulked at the size of the transfer fee demanded by Salford.

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Bulls take points fight to high court

Bradford Bulls are to challenge a points deduction imposed by the Rugby Football League in the High Court.

Bulls to fight points deduction
Bulls to fight points deduction Credit: Press Association

Six points were deducted earlier this year when the club went into administration and an appeal was rejected by a Sporting Sanctions Appeal Panel.

The panel ruled the club has not met the necessary requirements for an appeal to be fully considered.

But after taking advice, the Bulls have now decided to pursue legal action against the RFL.

A spokesperson for the club's board of directors said: "The advice which the club has received is positive and, as a consequence of that indication, it is the club's intention to pursue what are considered to be appropriate legal remedies.

"The decision to do so has not been made lightly and will be continually reviewed to ensure that any action taken is beneficial to the club, players, partners, supporters and the sport as a whole."

The Bulls sit second bottom of the Super League and could be relegated if their form does not improve.

This week they *appointed former Leeds Carnegie boss *James Lowes as a replacement for Francis Cummins who was sacked earlier this month.

Rhinos tie down academy star

Leeds have moved to secure the future of a player they hope will follow in the footsteps of England winger Ryan Hall.

Handley will remain at Headingley for another three years
Handley will remain at Headingley for another three years Credit: Press Association

Threequarter Ash Handley, 18, an England academy international who like Hall comes from Oulton Raiders, has been handed a new three-year contract after scoring 19 tries in 15 appearances for the club's under-19s team this season.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott said: "We are really pleased to have secured Ash on a long-term contract. He has worked hard this season to improve his game, moving from the wing to centre and that has certainly brought deserved rewards for him. I am sure he will have a bright future at the Rhinos."

Bulls will be "fired up" says caretaker coach

Bradford caretaker coach Matt Diskin has promised his side will be "fired up" for Friday night's clash with Hull KR.

Matt Diskin
Matt Diskin Credit: Press Association

Diskin has been left to pick up the pieces following the Bulls' crushing 46-18 defeat at Salford last Sunday and the subsequent sacking of head coach Francis Cummins and his long-serving assistant Lee St Hilaire.

Victory against the Robins is a must if Bradford are to keep alive their slender hopes of avoiding relegation from the First Utility Super League and Diskin believes the players are ready for the fight.

Not surprisingly, Diskin has selected himself and, after expressing his dismay at the latest turn of events and agreeing reluctantly to step into the breach, he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into his first coaching experience.

Diskin holds his head as his team are beaten during the Tetley's Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Diskin holds his head as his team are beaten during the Tetley's Challenge Cup Quarter Final Credit: Press Association

Cummins labelled his side's defensive efforts against the Red Devils "pathetic" and Diskin knows they must improve drastically if they are overcome a Hull KR side who have themselves conceded 88 points in their last two matches.

The Robins have slipped out of the top eight after suffering heavy back-to-back defeats by Castleford and Warrington and coach Craig Sandercock is hoping a win at Odsal will kick-start their campaign.

Dewsbury Rams secure two players

Two players have put pen to paper at rugby league team Dewsbury Rams.

Kyle Briggs
Kyle Briggs Credit: Press Association

Tommy Gallagher has signed a new deal which will keep him at the club until at least the end of the 2015 season.

The former Leigh man has made forty appearances, scoring nine tries and quickly made himself a crowd favourite.

And chairman Mark Sawyer believes there are more top displays to come from the all-action forward.“Tommy’s playing the best Rugby League of his career at the moment and is clearly enjoying himself at the Rams, which is pleasing for us as a club,” said Sawyer.

Featherstone Rovers half-back Kyle Briggs has signed for the club on an initial one-month loan.

The 26-year-old scored 32 tries in 43 appearances for Rovers during his first stint at the club and also had a spell at Super League side Bradford Bulls.

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