Wellens finally rewarded with Test call up

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The Independent Online

The St Helens full-back, Paul Wellens, has been added to the Great Britain squad for the Test series against Australia in November.

Wellens, who missed last year's Tests against New Zealand with a fractured cheekbone, was a controversial omission from David Waite's initial 28-man squad, but has responded with a string of good performances.

He makes the competition for the No 1 shirt fierce, with Wigan's Kris Radlinski and Gary Connnolly of Leeds already in the squad, but Wellens has also played for his country at wing and centre.

Two players recently involved with Great Britain, Karl Pratt of Bradford and Hull's Paul King, will not be involved in this autumn's international programme. Both have withdrawn from the England A squad to have minor operations at the end of the domestic season. Another Bradford player, Richard Moore, has also been cut.

With their play-off hopes virtually extinguished, Widnes give a debut to the centre John Robinson, son of the former Wigan chairman, Jack Robinson, against the London Broncos this evening.

A win will make London strong favourites to reach the play-offs for the first time and they have Andrew Hamilton and Dave McConnell back in contention.

Tomorrow, Bradford will receive the League Leaders' Shield after their match against Castleford, another side with only the slenderest of chances of making the top six, whilst Halifax have their last opportunity to avoid being relegated without a single point when they go to Wakefield.

In National League One Rochdale play Whitehaven and Hull KR host Oldham in play-off matches, whilst Keighley versus Hull and York meeting Barrow are the equivalent contests one level further down.

Dewsbury, relegated to National League Two next season, are optimistic of being able to carry on after a meeting of their fans pledged to help them meet their financial short-fall.

Also tomorrow, Warrington-Wooslton meet the Teesside Steelers in the Grand Final of National League Three at Winnington Park in Northwich.