Warrington add Marquet to the pack

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The Independent Online

Warrington have continued to show their penchant for recruiting experienced, even veteran, overseas players by signing one of Australia's most durable forwards, Paul Marquet. The 31-year-old Newcastle Knights second-rower, who has also played for Hunter Mariners and Melbourne Storm during his long career in his homeland, has agreed a one-year contract.

"My association with Paul began at Melbourne Storm," said Warrington's performance director, Steve Anderson. "I believe Paul as a person and a player will bring credibility to Wolves with his professional ethic, which has been developed over many years of playing in an élite competition in Australia."

Marquet has long been regarded as one of the best defenders in the Australiam game and was a member of the Melbourne side that won their Grand Final in 1999 against St George-Illawarra Dragons, as well as appearing as a substitute for Newcastle in their victory over Parramatta last year.

Ticket sales for Newcastle's World Club Challenge against Bradford at Huddersfield on 1 February have reached 10,000. "The demand is unprecedented," said Super League's general manager, Gary Tasker. The gate is expected to top the 16,000 who saw St Helens beat Brisbane at Bolton last year.

The Rugby League and Britain's amateur ruling body, Barla, are close to an agreement over the issue of under-17s rugby. The two sides met on Wednesday night after Barla objected to RL plans for a competition in that age group – something they felt would damage grass-roots participation. "We are no longer looking into the abyss," said Barla's chief executive, Ian Cooper, who feared that the argument could sour the prospects for cooperation between the two branches of the game. "It was a very constructive meeting and proposals have now gone to the two bodies."

The 2,200 supporters who have so far bought Castleford season tickets are to have their names woven into the fabric of the club's new shirt.

Huddersfield's Stanley Gene has returned from his trip home to Papua New Guinea and could play against Barrow on Sunday.