Sunday Preview: Aspinwall's day to prove worthy of his GB call-up

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The Independent Online

It has been a memorable week for the Huddersfield winger, Martin Aspinwall. Last Saturday, he played a prominent role in the Giants' shock win over St Helens, Saints' first defeat of the season. In midweek, he was added to Great Britain's squad to prepare for next month's international against New Zealand.

It marks a sharp change of fortunes for Aspinwall, who was last winter shown the door at Wigan. Now the Great Britain and new Wigan coach, Brian Noble, has given the clearest of hints that he wishes he was still around, drafting him in alongside Stephen Wild, who made the same move at the same time.

Aspinwall's inclusion is a reward for solid form since his transfer across the Pennines to Huddersfield - and one he himself believes he deserves. "I was a bit disappointed I wasn't in the initial squad," he said. "I've been pleased with my form."

Aspinwall will line up this afternoon against Salford, who are still smarting from not having a single player in the GB squad, despite being securely ensconced in the top six of Super League. David Hodgson might have been some people's choice ahead of Aspinwall, so he, along with Luke Robinson, Malcolm Alker and Andy Coley, will have that littler bit extra to prove. One player they will not have to face is the towering prop, Jon Grayshon, who has been loaned out to Batley for a month.

Today's other Super League game sees Castleford, boosted by victory over Wigan, face the Catalan Dragons. Danny Sculthorpe has recovered from a broken thumb and could be included.

There are a couple of significant games in the lower divisions today. Widnes were thrashed by Leigh last week and play the National League One leaders, Hull KR, today. The club's new chairman, Steven Vaughan, sacked their Australian full-back, David Peachey, last week and hinted he has other changes in mind - which will not make coach Steve McCormack feel any more secure. One coach who has already gone is Hunslet's Roy Sampson. He departed last week after three years and Mark Cass is in charge against Featherstone today.

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