Widnes want the Australian Test scrum-half, Brett Kimmorley, to spearhead their bid for Super League status. The 31-year-old is looking to leave Cronulla at the end of this season and Widnes are courting him strongly – subject to them gaining a Super League license when they are allocated in July.
"The only Australians we are interested in bringing in are internationals," said the Widnes sporting director, Terry O'Connor. "I played against Brett a few times and I've done my research on him. He's tough, durable and a thorough professional on and off the field."
Widnes are talking to other players but see Kimmorley as the ideal leader to take them back into the top flight.
The former Widnes and Great Britain scrum-half Bobbie Goulding, who is now coach of Rochdale Hornets, has been charged with breaching the Rugby Football League's "Respect" policy by verbally abusing a touch judge during his club's Challenge Cup defeat by Hull last Sunday.
Wakefield could move to the fringe of Super League's top six if they beat Harlequins at Belle Vue tonight. John Kear is still without a string of regulars, but has Damien Blanch in line for a first competitive game of the season. Quins' Henry Paul will be back at his first professional club for his first match since the announcement that he is to revert to rugby union, with Leeds, at the end of the season.
Andrew Henderson will play his 100th game for Castleford and Brendan Hlad his first against the Catalan Dragons this evening, but for once there is likely to be more attention focussed on a reserve team game at The Jungle tomorrow.
Dwain Chambers is to make his debut in a specially arranged friendly against the York City Knights. Chambers, who has been taking advice from the Widnes, Wigan and Great Britain try-scoring legend Martin Offiah, will end his month's trial with the club by playing some part in the game, before he and the coaching staff assess whether he has a future in the game.
Only two players with first-team experience, the forwards Tom Haberecht and Nathan Massey, have been included in the Tigers' side.
Away from the sideshow and on the main stage tomorrow, Wigan hope to have the stand-off Trent Barrett back in their side at Bradford, although his long-term future seems certain to be back in Australia. Hull will take a step away from the foot of the table if they can beat Huddersfield.