Salford, many people's favourites for relegation from Super League before the season, could be in the top two tonight if they maintain their impressive start against Wakefield.
The City Reds have won three of their first four matches, including a 28-10 victory over Wigan last week, which marked a first appearance of the season for Luke Robinson, who has been suffering from shin splints. The scrum-half admitted to severe discomfort after the match, but will be keen to play through the pain again if his coach, Karl Harrison, asks him to do so. Wakefield have their scrum-half, Sam Obst, back after missing the defeat by Huddersfield last week through suspension.
Leeds will give a debut today to another teenager, the 19-year-old scrum-half Jordan Tansey, at the Catalans Dragons. Tansey will start on the bench and, when he comes into the action is likely to face Mick Dobson, who will make his first appearance for the French side.
The meeting between Huddersfield and St Helens tomorrow could see the brothers Mat and Ade Gardner facing each other on the wing. Saints look certain to lose their outstanding centre, Jamie Lyon, next season, with Manly, Penrith, Canberra and Cronulla all keen to take him back to Australia.
In tomorrow's other match, Harlequins have their captain, Mark McLinden, in their new colours for the first time this season for the visit of Castleford. McLinden has been out of action with a torn hamstring. "It's been a tough month, but I'm excited about playing my first game for Harlequins," he said.
His return helps to compensate for the absence of Paul Sykes, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with a damaged kidney. Castleford, bottom of the table in their first season back in the top flight, should be stronger in the forwards for the return of Danny Ward, Richard Fletcher and Richard Fa'aoso.
The highlight of round three of the Challenge Cup is the visit of Toulouse to Blackpool.
In Australia, the National Rugby League season starts with the Great Britain winger Brian Carney making his debut for Newcastle against Parramatta.Reuse content