Davis looks to avoid déjà vu with Castleford

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The Independent Online

Castleford must avoid history repeating itself if they are to cling on to their Super League status today. Two years ago almost to the day, the Tigers lost to a play-off bound Wakefield and were relegated to National League One - the fate which awaits the losers this evening.

Belle Vue is expected to be close to its 11,000 capacity for a nerve-racking contest, for which Wakefield have a definite edge in experience.

David March, who is being used in a novel second-row role, is one of eight survivors from that game in 2004, while Castleford are likely to have just one, in the shape of Super League's oldest player, 38-year-old Brad Davis.

"I'm used to playing in games like this but there are players in the team who aren't and hopefully the pressure won't get to them," said March, who along with the assistant coach, Paul Broadbent, has already signed on for next season regardless of which division the Wildcats are in.

In today's other game, Harlequins will be bidding goodbye to a number of members of their staff after the game against Salford. Their chief executive, Nic Cartwright, is leaving after eight years, while Luke Dorn will play against the club he is joining next year. Danny Williams is retiring and Neil Budworth has not been offered a new contract.

Tomorrow, Warrington could take advantage of any Salford slip-up and climb above them into fifth place, but they would have to get something out of the league leaders, St Helens, to do so. At Huddersfield, Bradford are a side in need of some form for the play-offs after their poor recent displays.

The National League One play-offs begin, with Whitehaven and Leigh expected to progress at the expense of Rochdale and Batley. One division below, Featherstone and Swinton are the sides with home advantage over Gateshead and Barrow.

In Australia, Chris Anderson, whose last coaching job was in rugby union with the Newport-Gwent Dragons, has been named as the successor to Ricky Stuart at the Sydney Roosters. That ends speculation that the job would go to his namesake, the St Helens coach, Daniel Anderson.

The former Saints coach, Shaun McRae, has decided to stay with South Sydney after accepting a move upstairs as director of rugby. McRae, the only man to hold a position as head coach throughout the first nine seasons of Super League, was sacked with a year left on his contract after the Rabbitohs finished the 2006 season with the wooden spoon.

He has now agreed a new two-year contract and will be responsible for the management of all football operations, including the recruitment of players. "I've spent a lot of time thinking about this new position and the role I can play in the revival of the club," he said. "And I came to the decision that I wanted to make the move into a managerial role."

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