Harlequins and St Helens have contrasting fortunes at half-back for their meeting at The Stoop this evening. Saints are able to bring back Leon Pryce, who was rested last weekend after starring for England in Toulouse. But Quins, beaten in four of their last five matches, are without an equally important player in Danny Orr, who is out with a hamstring injury.
Better news for Quins coach, Brian McDermott, is the return of Rob Purdham and Rikki Sheriffe after injuries that cost them their chance of England caps in France.
In tomorrow's Super League games, Matt Petersen will make his debut for Wakefield at Warrington. The Australian utility back, who has also captained the USA, could slot into several positions, with the main question for his new coach, John Kear, being which of his players to drop after a sub-standard second half against the Catalan Dragons on Tuesday night. Petersen will give the Wildcats a substantial late-season boost, but Castleford are having no such luck yet with their new signing from Australia, Mitchell Sargent. His work permit, like that of Wigan's new recruit, Tim Smith, is still being held up by red tape. Cas have enlisted the help of their MP, the Government minister, Yvette Cooper, to try to speed matters up.
In the meantime, they must manage with what they have against Hull Kingston Rovers, in a match which has an unusual kick-off time at noon tomorrow. Rovers include Chaz I'Anson, who has agreed a one-year contract extension with the club.
The Catalans have stayed in the north of England since their victory at Wakefield and have an appointment at Hull tomorrow. The hosts have Graeme Horne fit again after a calf injury, while Garreth Carvell is expected to play, despite the confusion over his future.
Bradford are still without Paul Deacon at Huddersfield, who as well as being without John Skandalis for the rest of his final year following knee surgery will also be without the services of Eorl Crabtree for a month with a broken thumb.
The Ellery Hanley factor looms large when Doncaster play in the first major final of their 57-year history at Blackpool. The part-timers from National League 2 have reached the final of the Northern Rail Cup and, while Salford's full-time squad and NL1 status makes them obvious favourites, nobody will be underestimating the inspiration that Doncaster can draw from a coach whose playing career was synonymous with winning trophies. "We're going to need to play with massive intensity," said their captain, Peter Green. "Then anything is possible."Reuse content