Waite's hint to the tried and much tested

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The Independent Online

Much has been written this season - and rightly so - about the quality of the young players emerging in Super League, but the squads for the Origin Match at Headingley on Wednesday have a distinct old school flavour.

Look at the Lancashire team for the third year of this attempt to graft genuine Test trials on to the domestic calendar and the names that leap out are those of Gary Connolly and Mike Forshaw, 32 and 33 respectively. Even the most notable uncapped player, the Hull full-back, Steve Prescott, is 29 and might have concluded that he had had his chance at this level.

None of those three are exactly long-term investments for the future and yet, if form means anything, they all deserve to be there. Indeed, such is the faith of the Great Britain coach, David Waite - who had a big say in picking both county sides - in the veterans that, barring accidents, we can pencil Connolly and Forshaw in now to play against Australia this autumn.

It would be a shame for Prescott to miss out on Wednesday with an Achilles problem, because he has been the form full-back. The suspicion must be, however, that by November Kris Radlinski will be fit again and Paul Wellens, who is in the Lancashire squad despite some wobbly form, will be back to something like his best.

It is in the centres that the Lancashire squad really expose a weak area, as neither Martin Gleeson nor Paul Johnson have been in form. The same could be said of Sean Long and Keiron Cunningham, although they will surely come good again.

If Yorkshire look at form rather than reputation, they must think that this is their best chance of victory since Roses matches were re-introduced. Although it would have been good to see young prospects like Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, the half-back combination of Danny Orr and Richard Horne fizzes with possibilities.

Up front, Graham Steadman is confident enough of his forward strength to be able to leave out Paul King, Nick Fozzard and Wayne McDonald, all three of whom have played well up to representative standard this season.

Ryan Bailey and Andy Lynch are the men who have kept them out, but it is the players who can't get in who should be the clue that Yorkshire are strong enough where it matters to break their duck.

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