Catalans Dragons winger Jodie Broughton will miss the start of the 2019 season after suffering a major knee injury.
The former Salford and Huddersfield player is set to undergo surgery and be sidelined for the next six months after suffering the injury in his side’s Super League defeat at Wigan on Friday.
Dragons coach Steve McNamara said: “Jodie suffered a cruciate ligament injury, his ACL, so it’s the worst type of injury you can have. Unfortunately for us, he’ll miss probably not only the end of the season but the start of next season also.”
Broughton, who played in the Catalans’ Challenge Cup wins over York, Whitehaven and Huddersfield, will obviously miss Sunday’s semi-final against St Helens at Bolton, although he was not guaranteed to be involved.
On Friday he was deputising for winger Lewis Tierney, one of six players rested by McNamara with an eye on the club’s bid to reach Wembley for the second time.
McNamara will have to get the better of his former Sydney Roosters colleague Justin Holbrook, the St Helens head coach, if he is to steer the French club to their first final since 2007.
“I worked alongside Justin for two years at the Roosters,” said McNamara. “We had a great working relationship and we’re good friends. You probably spend more time with each other as coaches than you do with your family because that’s the type of job we’re in. I have a lot of respect for Justin.”
McNamara revealed the Catalans staff and players took the opportunity for a spot of reconnaissance during their Wigan trip by making a visit to the Macron Stadium, the venue for Sunday’s historic double-headed semi-finals.
York coach James Ford has been given a two-match touchline ban for using foul and abusive language towards a match official.
Ford was charged by the Rugby Football League’s match review panel over the incident during his side’s League 1 win over Bradford at Odsal earlier this month and admitted the grade D offence when he appeared in front of a disciplinary panel.
He was also fined £75.
As expected, Catalans Dragons forward Greg Bird will miss Sunday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final because of suspension.
The former Australian international was charged with a grade D dangerous tackle on Gabe Hamlin during the Dragons’ 25-20 Super League defeat by Wigan at the DW Stadium last Friday.
Bird pleaded guilty to the offence when he faced a disciplinary hearing but challenged the severity of the grading.
However the tribunal felt the grading was correct and the player was been suspended for four matches and fined £500.
It rules him out the clash with St Helens at Bolton and first three rounds of the Super 8s.
The hearings involving Wigan forward Taulima Tautai, who is charged with a grade D dangerous tackle, and Hull KR second-rower Maurice Blair, who is accused of “other contrary behaviour”, were adjourned until next Tuesday.
Blair, on a separate Grade A charge of disputing a decision, was one of five players to accept penalty notices.
Wigan have signed Barrow prop Joe Bullock on a three-year deal. The 25-year-old front rower becomes the Warriors’ second recruit from the Betfred Championship following the signing of Swinton centre Chris Hankinson and will link up with them ahead of the 2019 campaign.