Goodway visits Gregory's lair

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
Andy Goodway's first match since his appointment as the Great Britain coach takes him to the lair of the man some thought should have got the nod.

Goodway's Paris are at Salford, the side coached by his former Wigan team-mate, Andy Gregory, in the preliminary round of the Premiership play-offs tomorrow.

Gregory could feel that he has something to prove after being overlooked for the international job, but insists: "It's not entered my head. I never regarded myself as a candidate - it was just other people talking about it.

"It doesn't bother me one bit. All the best to Andy Goodway; my only concern is doing the job here at Salford and I don't want our season to finish at 4.30 on Sunday."

Gregory, whose side exceeded most expectations by finishing comfortably in mid-table in Super League, will be without three forwards - Cliff Eccles, Craig Randall and the newly-signed David Bradbury - but will have David Hulme back on the bench.

Tomorrow's other tie sees two sides who experienced contrasting seasons meet at Thrum Hall. Halifax went into a steep decline from mid-season onwards, while Castleford recovered sufficiently under their new coach, Stuart Raper, to avoid relegation and end the campaign in optimistic mood.

Provided Halifax's plans to move in with the local football club at The Shay go ahead, this will be the last competitive match at Thrum Hall.

Paul Davidson, Oldham's in-form but problematic second-row forward, has been suspended for three matches for using a forearm, while Sheffield's Waisale Sovatabua has escaped suspension on a striking charge.

Davidson's ban starts with the match at Leeds on Monday, for which the home side will have Martin Masella back after an ankle injury. The game was originally scheduled for this evening, but has been postponed, along with the programme in the amateur leagues, because of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. One game that will be played today is in Philadelphia, where the touring Great Britain Students play their American counterparts.

The quarter-finalists in the Divisional Premiership will be decided tomorrow, with the draw for the next round to be made immediately afterwards.