Warrington parade four new players

Warrington could have as many as four new signings making their debuts in the pre-season friendly against Leigh at Wilderspool tomorrow.

The match, which kicks off Mark Hilton's testimonial season, is likely to see the first appearance in Wolves' colours of John Wilshere, the Papua New Guinean international winger signed from St George-Illawarra. His former St George team-mate, Chris Leikvoll, is also in line to make his debut, along with his fellow forward Danny Lima, and the Great Britain Test back-rower Mike Forshaw, recruited from Bradford.

The Warrington coach, Paul Cullen, will be without the French forward Jerome Guisset due to a recurrence of his chest injury, but Gary Hulse and Paul Noone are expected to be fit after missing the Boxing Day draw with Widnes. On top of that, Graham Appo, Brent Grose and Darren Burns are back from Australia and available for the match.

Also tomorrow, Widnes will pioneer an unusual concept in pre-season friendlies by playing a Widnes Barbarians side selected from the best of local amateur players.

Brian Carney, the first Irishman since 1959 to play for Great Britain, is to spearhead a fundraising effort to support ambitious plans for a new competition in Ireland. The Wigan winger is to be the guest of honour at a gala dinner at the game's birthplace, the George Hotel in Huddersfield, in March.

The fundraising group, 1895 International, is organising the event to foster backing for an 18-team inter-provincial competition to be played in Ireland this summer. "Increasing numbers of rugby union players are showing an interest in playing league in the summer, which augurs well for both codes," said the chairman of Rugby League Ireland, Dave Southern.

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