Paleaaesina return gives Wigan hope as wait for Noble goes on

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Bradford expect Noble will still be their coach for tomorrow's game against Huddersfield, but an announcement about his future is anticipated after that.

The prospects of the team he is likely to take over will partly hinge on today's result against a side three points ahead of them at the foot of the Super League table. That is why Wigan's anxious fans will be delighted to see Iafeta Paleaaesina back in the side today. The Kiwi was one new signing who quickly became a favourite this season, but he has missed the last five matches with a calf injury.

Kevin Brown and Danny Tickle, who missed the 48-10 defeat at St Helens on Good Friday, are back in contention but David Vaealiki is out with a knee strain. Harlequins look to have their strongest squad of the season,with the return of Solomon Haumono and Filimone Lolohea.

The pick of the day's games, as far as the Super League table is concerned, sees third-placed Salford host the side one notch above them, Leeds.

The Salford coach, Karl Harrison, has criticised the Easter schedule as "pathetic" and this second match will be a test for his side after they defended for most of the second half to win the points at Warrington on Friday.

Leeds have Matt Diskin back at hooker after a knee injury and hope to give a debut to Mark O'Neill.

The leaders St Helens go to the Catalans without their first-choice wingers. Francis Meli is still nursing an ankle injury and Ade Gardner is staying at home for the birth of his child.

Lee Briers will be back for Warrington at Castleford after missing the defeat by Salford with a dead leg, but the Wolves will be without Chris Bridge. Cas are without Michael Shenton, Paul Handforth and Richard Fletcher, so the 38-year-old Brad Davis may continue his comeback.

Tom Saxton has recovered from a back injury to return for Wakefield and face his former club, Hull, for the first time.

Terry Newton, signed from Wigan last year, is in line to make his debut tomorrow for Bradford against Huddersfield after completing his suspension. Newton was banned for 10 matches for two tackles last season against St Helens, a sentence that was increased on appeal. "I've always been an aggressive player and I'm not going to change now," he said.

The game also marks the first return to Odsal as a Huddersfield player for a Bulls icon, Robbie Paul.