Leuluai returns to olden days with All Golds

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The Independent Online

The New Zealand All Golds will field seven British-based players in their centenary match at Warrington a week on Saturday and one of them could score the first three-point try for almost 25 years.

The match against the Northern Union, as the Rugby League was still known in 1907, is to be played under the scoring system of 100 years ago – three points for a try and two for any goal, including a drop goal. A try has been worth four points since 1983 and a drop goal was downgraded to a single point in 1974.

The most intriguing selection for the game on 20 October is the choice of the Wigan scrum-half, Thomas Leuluai, at hooker.

Motu Tony, the Hull full-back, has withdrawn from the tour proper, saying that, like Leeds' Brent Webb, he needs a break.

Wakefield have signed the Widnes winger, Damien Blanch, on a two-year contract. The former Castleford player was in the side that lost the National League One Grand Final to the Tigers on Sunday.

"I first took note of Damien in his Castleford days and he impressed me at Widnes too," said the Wakefield coach, John Kear. "He will bring both size and pace to our wing position."

Kirk Dixon has become the first Castleford player to re-sign for the club following their promotion to Super League. The former Hull three-quarter has agreed a two-year deal.

Hull say they are out of the bidding for the Brisbane Broncos' forward Brad Thorne, who has represented Australia at league and the All Blacks at union. That could leave the way open for Cas to recruit him, although their first priority appears to be a half-back, with Canterbury's Brent Sherwin the name most often mentioned in dispatches.

Sky Sports have agreed a deal for the British TV rights for next year's World Cup in Australia, plus a series of qualifying games in this country this autumn.

Tonga, who have already qualified for the tournament, have recorded an impressive result by beating the touring Junior Kangaroos by 44-6.

Harlequins have issued a statement apologising for Henry Paul's inebriated behaviour at the Man Of Steel awards this week. The club said there is no question of terminating his contract, however.