Deacon back for Warriors' tussle with the Rhinos
Friday 24 September 2010
Paul Deacon is back in Wigan's squad for tomorrow's highly charged play-off at Leeds. The veteran half-back, coming to the end of his first season with his hometown club, missed last week's victory over Hull KR with a hip injury, but he has trained this week and has been included in the Warriors' 19 at the expense of the young prop Ben Davies.
If Deacon plays against the Rhinos, it would release Sean O'Loughlin to return to his regular position of loose forward after filling in at stand-off against Rovers.
Kevin Sinfield will move to stand-off for the Rhinos, in place of Danny McGuire, whose serious knee injury the last time they met Leeds has been the focus of so much friction between the clubs. Jamie Jones-Buchanan is back in Leeds' squad after a foot injury.
Steve Menzies will retain his distinction of being the oldest player in Super League when he switches to the Catalan Dragons for next season.
The Australian Test second-rower, who turns 37 in December, spent the last two seasons with Bradford, who did not offer him a contract for 2011.
Menzies had an offer from Huddersfield, but has opted instead to go to France and become the Catalans' fifth signing under their new coach, Trent Robinson, as they try to improve dramatically on this year's wooden spoon.
Wakefield have confirmed the signing of the Papua New Guinea centre Jessie Joe Parker from Featherstone on a two-year contract. Parker is the third player this week to join the Wildcats, who had a winding-up order over tax liabilities adjourned in the High Court on Wednesday.
"Jessie Joe has been outstanding for Featherstone and we believe he will be a big asset for us in Super League next season," said the Wakefield coach, John Kear.
"He is an experienced international and we are always interested in the best talent that becomes available."
Featherstone have stressed that they see Sunday's Championship Grand Final against Halifax as a springboard for a Super League bid. "Our facilities are second to none, even when compared with many Super League clubs," said their chairman, Mark Campbell.
St Helens' international winger, Ade Gardner, has emerged as the latest target for Salford as they build up their depth and experience for next season.
The Grix brothers are in line to play together for Ireland for the first time in this autumn's European Cup. The Irish coach, Andy Kelly, has named Huddersfield's Scott as captain, with Warrington's Simon also in the squad.
In all, 13 Super League players are included, with the rest of the 30-man squad drawn from the lower divisions and the Irish domestic competition. Ireland start their campaign in France on 9 October and also play Scotland and Wales.
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