Tickle backed to create discomfort for the Kiwis

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The Independent Online

Danny Tickle, discarded by Wigan last winter, has played his way into the Great Britain squad for this autumn's Test series against New Zealand.

The 24-year-old goal-kicking forward has been Hull's player of the year and his coach, Peter Sharp, has been urging his inclusion in Tony Smith's plans. "He's been our best player since day one and he can make an impact on the international stage," Sharp said.

Hull also have Garreth Carvell, Richard Horne, Gareth Raynor and Kirk Yeaman – all of whom played in last year's Tri-Nations – included in the squad for the three matches against the Kiwis. Smith is adding players as their clubs drop out of the play-offs.

Harlequins, whose average attendance dropped by 1,500 this year, have changed their kick-off times for next season in order to attract the growing numbers of potential fans involved in the game in London at amateur level. Games will be played at 3pm on Saturdays until the end of April and will then switch to the same time on Sundays when the RL Conference season starts.

Widnes' Dennis Moran and Danny Brough of Castleford, who will be in direct opposition at half-back in Sunday's Grand Final, have taken the major awards at the Co-operative National Leagues' presentation night. Moran was named National League One player of the year and Brough – who is destined for Super League with Wakefield next season – was voted the players' player of the year.

The 18-year-old Castleford back-rower Joe Westerman was young player of the year. Mark Aston of Sheffield Eagles and the London Skolars' Latham Tawhai are the divisional coaches of the year and Celtic Crusaders' Tony Duggan the leading player in National League Two.

Leigh, hoping to mount a Super League bid when they move into their new ground next year, have signed two players: the Welsh international scrum-half Ian Watson from Halifax, on a one-year deal, and Steve Maden, who has returned to the club from Whitehaven on a two-year contract.