England to take teenager to Fiji

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

Paul Sculthorpe, Warrington's 18-year-old loose-forward, is set to be named as the youngest member of England's squad for the Fiji Nines later this month.

The announcement of the squad, plus those to represent Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the inaugural event, has been delayed by inquiries into players' availability. The unexpected exit of Wigan from the Silk Cut Challenge Cup has put a number of their players into contention.

St Helens, the next opponents for Wigan's conquerors, Salford, have had an early warning that, despite their new favouritism for the Cup, they could be equally vulnerable.

"They will be on a high," said the Saints coach, Shaun McRae, of the visit to Salford, which will be the televised tie on 24 February. "If we don't play to our full potential, we won't win."

Saints have clinched a pounds 250,000 sponsorship deal with the computer company, Hewlett-Packard, who already back the Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur and Formula One motor racing.

The three-year deal is unusual in that it gives Saints a shorts sponsor, on top of - or rather underneath - their existing shirt deal with McEwans. It will also mean that the company will provide the club with state-of- the-art technology from the gym to the commercial department.

The is backing Leeds in the club's effort to take out an injunction to prevent Craig Innes playing for the Australian club, Manly. Innes flew to Sydney to take up a contract with them on Monday, despite still being under contract to Leeds, whom he joined four years ago.

Kurt Sorensen has been confirmed as coach at Workington Town by the offer of a new one-year contract. The former New Zealand forward has been given the go-ahead by the club's new owner, the Scottish businessman, Bob Jamieson, to seek new players in time for Town's entry into the Super League at the end of March.

"I'm pleased that my future has been decided," said the former Kiwi international, who enjoyed a successful playing career with Widnes. "Now we have just seven weeks to prepare for the start of Super League and I shall be reviewing the playing staff with Mr Jamieson to see what we have and whether we can make any more signings."

Sorensen had a spell as player-coach with Whitehaven before taking over at Derwent Park at the start of the shortened Centenary campaign.

Another Cumbrian club, Barrow, have named their former prop forward, Steve Hogan, as new coach. Hogan succeeds Peter Roe, who left to join Swinton last month.

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