Sculthorpe set to miss Test warm-up

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The Independent Online

Great Britain are unlikely to risk Paul Sculthorpe in tonight's game against New Zealand A at Headingley - their one warm-up match before the Test series against Australia.

Sculthorpe had been in line to captain his country for the first time, but suffered a calf strain in training.

"There's no point in risking him if it might make it worse,'' the Great Britain manager, Phil Clarke, said. "We're very confident that he will be fit for the Test series.''

If Sculthorpe is missing, Wigan's Kris Radlinski, who was originally named as one of tonight's four substitutes, will lead the side. Terry Newton, who missed the squad's warm weather training in Spain last week, has also been named on the bench.

It is debatable how much the Great Britain coach, David Waite, will learn from the match against opponents who have already lost to a National League 2 representative side and to a below-strength Warrington on their short trip, but the incentive is there for fringe players like Bradford's Stewart Reardon, Castleford's Ryan Hudson and Warrington's Paul Wood to play a part against the Aussies.

Adrian Morley will be making his first appearance back at Headingley since leaving for Sydney City three years ago.

Great Britain's regular captain, Andy Farrell, is also said to be giving himself every opportunity of playing in the series, despite his long-term knee problem.

Farrell could not train with the rest of the side in Spain. "But he was up at seven every morning, working in the gym,'' Clarke said. "No player could be trying harder to play for Great Britain.''

Wigan fear that the career of their scrum-half, Adrian Lamb, could be over after a knee reconstruction. Lamb will be out for six months and there are now doubts over whether he will be able to agree a new contract with the club.

"It's a very unlucky time in his career for Adrian to suffer such a serious injury,'' the Wigan chairman, Maurice Lindsay, said.

One of Wigan's other overseas imports, Brett Dallas, is to sign a new one-year deal at the club, along with their hooker, Mark Smith, but the young second rower Stephen Wild is being allowed to go on a season-long loan to Hull.

The London Broncos have re-signed their hard-working forward Steele Retchless, who has been with them since 1998, for another season.

The Broncos paraded their two new wingers, John Wells from Wakefield and John Kirkpatrick from St Helens, before last night's international at Griffin Park.