Fans learn cost of Newlove

Dave Hadfield previews the debut of rugby league's most expensive player
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The Independent Online
St Helens fans will have their first sight of Paul Newlove in their colours tomorrow, but they will have to pay more for the privilege. Saints have put up their adult ground admission by pounds 1 to pounds 7, starting with the game against Workington Town that marks the debut of the world's most expensive player.

Their chief executive, David Howes, said that the increase was needed in order to help pay for Newlove, who will be at left centre after shaking off a back injury.

Andy Northey will be his centre partner, with Chris Joynt returning after the flu that caused him to miss Wednesday night's defeat at Sheffield.

London Broncos need to solve the mystery of their inability to sustain their devastating start to matches if they are to live with Wigan at Brentford.

Tomorrow's last match at Griffin Park before the permanent move to The Valley gives London the chance to garner more credibility - but only if they can keep going for the full 80 minutes.

In a series of matches, including their visit to Wigan in September, they have begun brightly only to fade. "It is not a matter of fitness," says the one Englishman in tomorrow's Broncos team, Ikram Butt. "Maybe it is our concentration."

Their coach, Gary Grienke, makes two changes, bringing in Kieran Meyer for the injured Craig Green at centre and restoring Steve Rosolen to the pack.

Wigan, whose chairman, Jack Robinson, repeated his threat to slap an injunction on Perth's Western Reds if they try to field Barrie-Jon Mather, are without Kelvin Skerrett, but Simon Haughton returns after a foot injury.

Leeds have made sweeping changes after a display at Warrington on Wednesday night that infuriated their coaching team of Dean Bell and Hugh McGahan.

There will be five teenagers, including the twins, Anthony and David Gibbons, in the backs at Halifax tomorrow. Tony Kemp returns after injury and another of their young players, Jamie Field, makes his full debut in the second row.

"We know that we have to make changes and we are looking for players, both here and overseas," said McGahan. "We will not tolerate the holiday atmosphere that is here any longer."

Warrington, at home to in-form Sheffield Eagles, will have Greg Mackey in for the injured Mike Ford and will be without Mike Wainwright for six weeks with a damaged foot.

The weekend also sees the first round of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup, with amateur clubs trying to battle their way through to a meeting with the professionals.