Newton hooked on Britain place

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The Independent Online

Terry Newton, of Wigan, intends to put down his marker for the Great Britain hooker's job in the Challenge Cup tie at Hull on Saturday.

Newton, who missed last autumn's Ashes series with a broken arm, made an impressive comeback in the friendly, also against Hull, last Wednesday, but two days later, he saw James Lowes put in an outstanding performance for Bradford in their World Club Challenge over Newcastle.

"Jimmy played really well, Keiron Cunningham is fit again and Malcolm Alker is knocking on the door,'' said Newton, who believes that performances in high-profile matches will decide who hooks against Australia in July.

"There's a lot of competition, which is why I want to show David Waite [the Great Britain coach] what I can do.''

Newton played in the Wigan team knocked out of the Cup at Hull two season ago. "Everyone expected so much of us that year, but it wasn't to be,'' he said. "Hull are a better side than they were then, but so are we. The club has signed really well and Julian O'Neill is really going to be dangerous when he settles in.''

The Wigan coach, Stuart Raper, will not finalise his team until Saturday, but another of his new signings, the New Zealand Test prop, Craig Smith, will make his debut and will start the game. "You don't bring a player of his calibre over and sit him on the bench,'' he said.

The Bradford captain, Robbie Paul, will be fit to play for them in the other televised tie on Saturday against Leeds, despite the neck injury that forced him out of the second half of the victory over Newcastle.

Halifax's half-back Andrew Dunemann is likely to miss the trip to play St Gaudens with a rib injury.