Reardon hopes to secure Test place

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The Independent Online

The Bradford full-back, Stuart Reardon, gets his chance to stake a claim for a Great Britain wing spot against Australia when he plays in their only warm-up game next week.

The man of the match in the Super League Grand Final was a late addition to the warm-weather training camp in Spain this week and has now been named in the side to face New Zealand A at Brentford next Tuesday.

Also wearing the full international shirt for the first time - although caps are not being awarded - are the Warrington prop, Paul Wood, Wakefield's Gareth Ellis and Ryan Hudson, of Castleford.

The Kiwi tourists have a chance to secure their first win in Britain when they meet a below-strength Warrington at Wilderspool tomorrow. Australia are preparing for their arrival in this country by playing a French President's XIII in Perpignan today.

This weekend also sees the start of the European Nations Cup, with Kevin Ellis and Allan Bateman returning to international rugby league for Wales against Russia at Aberavon. Ellis is at loose forward with his fellow dual international on the bench.

Lenny Woodard, who plays with them for the Bridgend Blue Bulls, wins his first cap, along with Damien Hudd, of Torfaen, and two young Welshmen at northern clubs, Aled James, of Widnes, and Sheffield's Jordan James.

The best game of the weekend could be in Glasgow, also tomorrow, where Scotland meet Ireland. Two players from the Scottish competition, the Glasgow Bulls' Barry Edgar and the Clyde Buccaneers' Bryan Hendry, are in line to make their debuts.

St Helens have appointed Dave Rotheram, who was previously with the London Broncos, as assistant coach to Ian Millward.

Leigh have signed two players from this year's Widnes squad, Chris Percival and Dan Potter, as well as Oliver Wilkes from Keighley and the St Helens Academy player, Steve Maden.