McGuire back to freshen up Leeds line-up for play-offs

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The Independent Online

Danny McGuire believes his enforced six-match absence will have freshened him up for the Super League play-offs, starting with Leeds' match against Warrington tonight. The Great Britain stand-off came through his comeback last weekend after a lay-off with shin splints that threw doubt on the rest of his season.

"I was always confident that I'd be back for the big games," McGuire said. "I feel like the season's only just starting and it might not be a bad thing that I've had a bit of time off."

Leeds also expect to have Jamie Peacock and Chev Walker back after injury for a game that will end the season for the losers.

For Warrington's Lee Briers it represents a last chance to achieve what has seemed the impossible, to impressthe Great Britain coach, Brian Noble, before he names his Tri-Nations squad on Monday. The Wolves captain has had a meeting with Noble at which he was told what he has to do to be considered.

"He gave me a few targets to hit and, hopefully, I'm hitting them at the moment," Briers said. "A good performance and a win would do my claims no harm at all."

The Warrington coach, Paul Cullen, will be without the injured Jon Clarke, Brent Grose and Chris Leikvoll, but will have Stuart Reardon back after illness.

Bradford, who play Salford in the second elimination play-off tomorrow, have re-signed their Papua New Guinean winger Marcus Bai for another year. Bai, recruited from Leeds at the start of this season, is likely to be the oldest player in Super League next season at 33, taking over from Castleford's Brad Davis, who has retired to become defensive coach with Bath.

Harlequins have signed Wigan's Chris Melling, Huddersfield's Jon Grayshon and David Tootill from Leeds for next season.