Lauiti'iti to get first taste of Leeds derby

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The Independent Online

Ali Lauiti'iti will continue his indoctrination into the British game today when he experiences for the first time what is now its biggest derby.

Ali Lauiti'iti will continue his indoctrination into the British game today when he experiences for the first time what is now its biggest derby.

In terms of crowd-pulling potential, Bradford versus Leeds has overtaken Wigan versus Saints and the New Zealand Test forward could find himself playing for the Rhinos in front of a crowd of 24,000 today.

His second appearance for his new club is likely to be again as a substitute, with Dave Furner replacing the injured Matt Adamson in the starting second row. Bradford have delayed naming their side, but Karl Pratt came through his comeback after shoulder surgery last weekend and is likely to keep his place on the wing.

Tomorrow, another New Zealand international, Motu Tony, will make his debut for Castleford at home to Hull. What is less certain is where he will play, because Tony has filled roles from full-back to hooker for club and country. "Motu is looking forward to the challenge and I'm sure that he will prove to be a top class acquisition for the club," said the Tigers' coach, Gary Mercer, who also has Ryan Clayton and Craig Huby available.

Castleford won their first Super League match of the season at the London Broncos last weekend and the Hull coach, Shaun McRae, believes that makes them especially dangerous opponents.

"I have never considered Cas to be relegation material and one win can lead to others," said McRae, who plans to recall the Australian second-rower, Paul McNicholas, after a groin injury.

Richard Moore, on loan for the rest of the season from Bradford, will make his debut for a threadbare London Broncos at Wakefield, who are relieved to have David Solomona available after being cleared of a suspected broken cheekbone.

Danny Lima returns for Warrington at Widnes after a three-match suspension for a high tackle. His coach, Paul Cullen, has devoted much time during his enforced lay-off to working on the prop's defensive technique.

Widnes will be looking for a vast improvement after conceding a club record 70 points at Hull on Monday, while Huddersfield need to get their play-off challenge back on the rails at Salford after being heavily beaten by Wakefield last time out.

In the quarter-finals of the Arriva Trains Cup, the outstanding tie is between the top two in National League One, Batley and Whitehaven. Barrow, at home to Leigh, and York, at Halifax, keep the NL2 flag flying, with Halifax - a Super League club last season - vulnerable to a possible upset.

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