Celtic five audition for Brisbane's world club crusade

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The Independent Online

Five members of the Celtic Crusaders team to face the Brisbane Broncos tomorrow could be auditioning for the chance to play in a world champion side.

The Broncos are playing in Bridgend as a warm-up for their World Club Challenge against St Helens next week. They are bringing only 18 players with them and, in the event of injury, could turn to former Brisbane juniors now playing with the Crusaders. Tony Duggan, Jace van Dijk, Neale Wyatt, Darren Mapp and Darren Quinn all came through the Broncos ranks before going to Wales.

"There are a couple of former Broncos boys playing over there, so they know our systems," the club's chief executive, Bruno Cullen, said before the party left Brisbane.

The club have already placed two young players, Nick Kenny and Joel Moon, on stand-by in Queensland in case they are required.

Saints' coach, Daniel Anderson, has criticised the fixture pattern the Rugby League has given them in the build-up to the match at Bolton. Saints play at Wakefield on Sunday, just five days before the World Club Challenge. "With the short turnaround, the RFL have done us no favours," Anderson said. "We're representing them, but they give us a Sunday fixture and then a Friday fixture."

Anderson has ruled out Jason Hooper for the Wakefield game after he dislocated a shoulder in the shock defeat by Harlequins, but Paul Wellens and Lee Gilmour could both return. Paul Sculthorpe is continuing his recovery from knee surgery, but is still not regarded as a contender to face Brisbane.

The Warrington and Great Britain forward Adrian Morley will have a plate fitted into his face tomorrow after fracturing his eye socket in his first game for his new club.