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Annakin handed five-game ban

Wakefield Wildcats forward Chris Annakin has been served with a five-match ban by the Rugby Football League.

Annakin was charged with a dangerous throw in his side's loss to Warrington on Sunday and was given his punishment on Tuesday night.

His ban means coach Richard Agar will not be able to call on him for the crucial relegation scrap with Bradford on Sunday. He will also sit out meetings with London, Wigan, Hull and Leeds.

Hull derby team news

Hull FC take on local rivals Hull KR today in the Magic Weekend fixture at Manchester's Etihad Stadium.

Hull coach Lee Radford makes two changes to the team that lost to Wigan, with centre Ben Crooks dropping out with a pelvic injury and forward Josh Bowden making way for the return of Dean Hadley. There is also a recall for Jordan Rankin, who is expected to win back his half-back spot.

Rovers coach Craig Sandercock has largely kept faith with his side, recalling prop Jonny Walker from suspension in the only change to the line-up that drew at Salford.


Leeds Rhinos re-name Friday 11th April JP Day

Former England player Jamie Peacock carries out the trophy during the World Cup Quarter Final match at Headingley Credit: PA Pictures

Leeds Rhinos have re-named Friday 11th April JP Day in honour of legendary former England skipper Jamie Peacock who will play his 500th career game next Friday 15 years to the day since his first ever Super League appearance.

Peacock made his debut for Bradford Bulls on 11th April 1999 against Wakefield, having previously played four games on loan at Featherstone Rovers, and now 15 years on he will play his 500th career game against the same opponent but with Leeds Rhinos.

To mark the occasion, thousands of Peacock masks will be distributed at the game for supporters to wear. Plus the club will be using a special hashtag #JP500 for fans to pay tribute to the legendary forward on social media that will be shown on the big screen and scoreboard on the night.

End to Bulls takeover saga in sight

The long-running saga over the battle to secure control of Bradford Bulls is close to reaching a resolution.

Administrators are thought to have secured agreement with one of the five groups seeking to buy the embattled Super League club, with an announcement expected tomorrow (Wednesday).

Bradford businessman Marc Green has emerged as frontrunner after Richard Lamb's London-based consortium failed to provide proof of funds in time.

Green's company, Safeguard Security Group Ltd, is thought to be the Bulls' biggest creditor following a loan it made to the club last September.

An offer from Mandy Koukash, wife of Salford chairman Marwan Koukash, was rejected by the administrators a week ago, while other bids from the two local football clubs, Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue, are also thought to have bitten the dust.

Robins swoop for Gardner

Hull KR have moved to ease their injury crisis by signing St Helens winger Ade Gardner on loan.

The Robins have lost David Hodgson, Omari Caro, Sean Gleeson and Craig Hall already this season, leading coach Craig Sandercock to sign Gardner for a month.

The 30-year-old has scored 173 tries in 286 appearances for Saints - although first-team opportunities have been harder to come by over recent years.

"With David, Omari, Sean and Craig all missing at the moment, we are very thin in the outside backs. That being the case, we've had no real option but to go into the loan market and Ade Gardner fits the bill perfectly for us," Sandercock said.


Bradford Bulls' crisis deepens

The Bradford Bulls' future has been thrown into doubt again after an offer to buy the club was withdrawn in protest at a six point deduction for going into administration for the second time in two years.

The man behind the proposed buyout, current chairman Mark Moore, says he has been forced into the decision because the points deduction makes relegation from Super League a virtual certainty.

Moore , who has now resigned along with his fellow directors, has accused the Rugby Football League of poor leadership. But the RFL's Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer says they are playing by the rules.

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."

Castleford sign free agent Finn

Ireland captain Liam Finn will be back in Super League in 2014 after being snapped up by Castleford Tigers.

The 30-year-old goalkicking half-back, who had brief spells in the top flight with Halifax and Wakefield, has linked up with the Tigers following his release by neighbouring Championship club Featherstone.

Finn, who led the Irish in all three World Cup games against Fiji, England and Australia, scored 1,484 points in two spells at Featherstone, where he played under Castleford coach Daryl Powell.

I'm flattered and extremely grateful that a great traditional club like Castleford has given me the opportunity to play in Super League again.

"I didn't take my chance last time and it has been a long road back. I hope to pay that back to the club and the coaching staff with hard work and by proving to them - and to myself - that I am more than capable of being a quality Super League player for them and make the most of a second chance playing at the highest level."

– Liam Finn, new Castleford Tigers signing

Liam Finn has been a stand-out performer in the Championship for the last four seasons.

"He is an outstanding player in both half-back and hooker positions and will further enhance the quality of our competition in those positions.

"I am supremely confident he will do well in Super League as a result of his professional attitude and skill sets and I'm looking forward to working with him again here at Castleford Tigers."

– Daryl Powell, Castleford Tigers coach

McShane signs for Wildcats

New Wakefield Wildcats signing Paul McShane Credit: Press Association

Wakefield Wildcats have signed former England Academy international Paul McShane from Leeds Rhinos.

The 24-year-old hooker has penned a two year deal after the move from Headingley for an undisclosed fee.

McShane, played 63 games for the Rhinos , making his debut for the club in 2009.

He was part of the team that defeated the Manly Sea Eagles to lift the Wolrd Club Challenge in 2012.

McShane, who has previously worked under Wakefield head coach Richard Agar on a loan spell at Hull FC, is the latest ex Rhino to move to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium following the likes of Ali Lauititi, Lee Smith and , most recently, Richard Moore.s the

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