Johns verdict - out for the

Australian and Newcastle captain Andrew Johns will miss the remainder of the National Rugby League season and the Kangaroo tour because of a bulging disc in his neck.

Johns, who missed last year's finals, with a back injury, injured his neck against last weekend during the Knights 60-24 humiliation of the North Queensland Cowboys. Newcastle secured 8th position on the ladder following that victory.

This news revives the flagging hopes of Parramatta to make the semi-finals and gives a good passage for the Melbourne Storm and St George Illawarra Dragons to sniff out a finals berth.