Quins look to build on upbeat start

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The Independent Online

Harlequins try to build on last weekend's good work when they host Wakefield in today's Super League match. Quins were impressive in victory at Hull on Sunday, making a nonsense of the general view that they will inevitably fight it out with Castleford at the foot of the table.

Coach Brian McDermott says he is unaware of, and unconcerned by any such received opinion, but knows he is among the bookies' favourites to be the first Super League coach sacked.

More performances like Sunday's will make a nonsense of that as well, but his side has had trouble backing up one good effort with another.

McDermott is unlikely to risk Scott Hill after he was stretchered off with a whiplash injury at Hull. He adds Tony Clubb, Dwayne Barker and Daniel Heckenberg to his squad and has had a long-term boost from Henry Paul's denial this week that this season will necessarily be his last.

McDermott wants Paul, 34, to postpone retirement, arguing that his workrate alone makes him an invaluable member of the side. "He has gone from being the most skillful player to also being the hardest working," he said.

Wakefield have had a contradictory start to the season, celebrating an excellent victory over Bradford, but then being played off the park by Leeds. Jamie Rooney is in line for his first start of the season.

Hull KR, in the top six after two victories in their first two games, will be still without Chev Walker at home to Warrington, who have ruled out Matt King with a torn calf muscle.

Two of the bottom three meet at the Galpharm, where Huddersfield and Castleford go in search of their first points. Danny Kirmond could make his Giants debut.

Leeds' Great Britain prop, Jamie Thackray, has joined Doncaster on a month's loan. Thackray has not figured in the Rhinos' side this season and has been told he is free to find another club.

The pick of the Northern Rail Cup matches tomorrow is between Leigh and Widnes, but former Widnes scrum-half Dennis Moran will not face his old club – he is sidelined for two months with a back injury.

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