Wakefield fear Orr could undermine revival

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The Independent Online

The Wakefield coach, Shayne McNally, is not expecting any favours as a result of Danny Orr's impending departure from Castleford when the sides meet today.

Orr gives up the captaincy for the first time for the derby at Belle Vue following his confirmation that he is leaving for Wigan next season, but McNally believes it will be business as usual.

"Danny is a complete professional as he showed against St Helens last week," he said. "He could have taken a back seat but he had an outstanding game and I don't expect it to be any different this week."

McNally says he has seen "more commitment and passion" from his team since lambasting them for their performance at Hull three weeks ago, but they are still firmly stuck as the worst of the rest, just above the hopelessly adrift Halifax at the foot of the Super League table.

"We know what it's like at the bottom, because we've been there, but we aren't focusing on Halifax and whether they make us safe. We just want to win as many matches as we can."

McNally is already planning next season's recruitment, on the reasonable assumption that Trinty will still be in Super League, but he is keen to retain Brad Davis, the most senior player from this year's squad.

Davis is now 35, but McNally says: "When he plays well, we play well. We want him to stay here in some capacity, maybe helping with the coaching. Whether he plays is up to him."

Ryan Hudson, a successful captain for England A and Yorkshire, takes on Orr's mantle as Castleford's on-field leader this evening, with Andy Lynch returning after an eye injury.

In tomorrow's games, Hull will give fitness tests to four players who missed last week's thrashing by Widnes - Jason Smith, Paul King, Chris Chester and Richie Barnett - before finalising their team to play Warrington, who have to manage without the inspirational Lee Briers for the first time since he fractured his wrist.

Bradford, looking to avoid a fourth home defeat in a row, expect to be unchanged against Widnes at Odsal. Widnes' centre, Adam Hughes, is a target for Hull, but the club is anxious to retain him.

A meeting of Super League clubs has agreed in principle to move the Challenge Cup final from its traditional slot in the Spring to late August or early September - a change which will suit the BBC. That decision further lengthens the odds against the clubs reaching agreement on accepting Sky's revised offer of a new contract to screen Super League and international games.

There was also a detailed discussion about the workings of the salary cap, but it is not clear whether St Helens, Hull and Halifax, all of whom failed in appeals against points deductions for breaches last season, are now prepared to accept their punishments.

The New South Wales prop Jason Ryles is out of this Autumn's tour to Britain after seriously damaging his shoulder in the third State of Origin match this week. He becomes the second Australian player, after his St George-Illawarra team-mate, Trent Barrett, to be ruled out of the Ashes series.