Fa'asavalu adds to Cup challenge for Warrington

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The Independent Online

Given the shared recent history of the two clubs, St Helens hardly need a confidence boost when they play Warrington, but that is what they have got for today's Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth-round tie. Coach Daniel Anderson is able to add the destructive Great Britain forward, Maurie Fa'asavalu, to the squad that accounted for Wigan so comprehensively in the Super League in Cardiff last weekend.

Warrington have not won at Saints since 1994, although their captain, Adrian Morley, claims to be unconcerned by that statistic. "It's not every day that you get a chance to take on the Cup holders at Knowsley Road and the lads will definitely be fired up," he said. The Wolves are without the suspended Jon Clarke, but have Simon Grix fit again.

In tomorrow's ties, Leeds have Gareth Ellis back after a broken thumb for the trip to Harlequins. He replaces Eric Anselme, who signed his loan contract too late to qualify for this round of the Cup. With Brent Webb still on his way back from the trans-Tasman Test, the teenager, Ben Jones-Bishop, is likely to be entrusted with the full-back role.

The game is the first since the Quins coach, Brian McDermott, appeared to question the whole raison d'être of a London club in the wake of the defeat by the Catalan Dragons in Cardiff.

McDermott has since insisted that he was misinterpreted and that he is in the capital "for the long haul".

The Catalans are at Bradford in the other outstanding tie of the round, while there is another all-Super League tie at Hull KR, where Huddersfield visit.

It might be worth keeping half an eye on Widnes, where Hull are the visitors. The Super League side's form so far suggests a certain vulnerability and they are without their second-rower and goal-kicker, Danny Tickle, tomorrow. Widnes' own form in National League One has been unconvincing, however, and they will have to raise their game to progress.

Wakefield should be too strong for Barrow, as should Wigan for Whitehaven on Monday. With Dewsbury meeting Oldham, though, there will be one NL club in the quarter-finals.

Australian and New Zealand players held a minute's silence before their Centenary Test in Sydney yesterday in memory of Jack Gibson, the man widely regarded as the game's greatest coach, who died earlier in the evening. Using methods imported from American football, Gibson achieved great success with Eastern Suburbs and Parramatta in the 1970s and '80s.

Australia won the Test, 100 years to the day from the two countries' first meeting, by 28-12, with tries from Mark Gasnier (two), Paul Gallen and their captain, Cameron Smith.

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