Watkins included in Leeds' Final squad


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The Independent Online

The Leeds coach, Brian McDermott, has added Kallum Watkins and Ali Lauitiiti to the squad that won through to tomorrow's Super League Grand Final. Watkins, the highly rated 19-year-old, has not played since suffering a flare-up of a knee problem after the Challenge Cup final defeat by Warrington, but could give the Rhinos an extra option at centre against St Helens at Old Trafford.

If Lauitiiti plays, probably in place of another New Zealander, Weller Hauraki, it will be his 200th appearance for Leeds – and his last before joining Wakefield for next season. It will also be the farewell game for the former Australian Test hooker Danny Buderus, who is rejoining the Newcastle Knights.

St Helens, who have been installed as 4-6 favourites, are expected to field the same starting team that beat Wigan in their semi-final, but have sprung a surprise by leaving Leon Pryce out of their choice of possible substitutes.

Pryce, with nine previous Grand Finals to his credit, missed the Wigan game with sickness. Although he has trained this week, his coach, Royce Simmons, does not feel that he has had enough game time to be risked at Old Trafford.

That leaves the final place in the 17 to be contested between Gary Wheeler, Tom Armstrong and Matty Ashurst. It would be a particular fairy tale for Armstrong, who has been playing for Leigh under the dual registration scheme and scored the winning try for them in the Northern Rail Cup final this summer.

Hull KR have signed the Tongan international forward Mickey Paea on a two-year deal from the Canterbury Bulldogs. His brother, Lopeni Paea, is already in Super League with the Catalan Dragons. Castleford's hooker, Adam Milner, has agreed a three-year extended contract to keep him at the club until 2014.

The former Hull KR, Widnes and Whitehaven forward Ryan Tandy is facing a life ban after being found guilty of match-fixing in Australia.