McRae wants pride restored

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

Shaun McRae, the St Helens coach, wants his side to restore some lost pride as well as regain the winning thread in front of their own fans tomorrow. The Knowsley Road outfit have been feeling battered and bruised following their 50-22 mauling at the hands of Bradford Bulls last week which saw them lose top place in the Super League to Wigan.

They go into this weekend's match against the much-improved Halifax, with McRae insisting: "I think individually it's time to stand up and be counted for some of our guys. I'm sure they will.

"A few players have got a fair bit to prove this weekend, while from a team perspective, we've got to be a little more committed defensively.

"There is a lot of lost pride at the club and it's very important to prove to our supporters that we are still very much in contention.

"I don't want to use injuries as excuses because you've got to have confidence in the players that take the field and I do have.

"A lot of people wrote about how Bobbie Goulding was missed against Bradford, but I have made the point that it wasn't just Bobbie - we had six or seven players missing."

The Bradford hammering was Saints' second setback in three games, following last month's defeat by Wigan.

"We can't control what anyone else does, but our goal is to win our remaining seven games and it is vitally important for us to get back on track against Halifax."

Richard Webster, the Salford Reds back-row forward, is the latest rugby league player to be targeted by Bath. The 28-year-old ex-Swansea, Wales and Lions rugby union forward is having talks with Bath - who were involved in the cross-code games with Wigan in May - over a possible switch back to his former code.

Bath, who won the double last season, have already sounded out Wigan about the possibility of having centre Va'aiga Tuigamala and stand-off Henry Paul for guest spells during the winter.

Salford, the First Division leaders, hope to have completed the signing by early next week of the former Wigan Test prop Andy Platt, who is currently playing for Auckland Warriors.

Hull have signed the Australian Glen Liddiard and the centre goes straight into the side to play at Widnes tomorrow despite not having played this season because he signed a Super League contract and consequently has not played in the rival Australian .

Liddiard is Hull's sixth overseas player - the rules allow only five - but the club are locked in a battle with the to get Dave Webber and Dave Moffatt taken off the quota as both have British passports.

The First Division club are refusing to say how Liddiard will be allowed to play only saying he definitely will.

Batley's former Great Britain back, Carl Gibson, sent off for dissent in the home defeat by Rochdale Hornets in a First Division clash on Sunday has had his one-match ban quashed, although his fine has been increased from pounds 75 to pounds 200.

Rochdale have agreed a loan deal with Oldham for the ex-Great Britain Under-21 prop, Chris Parr, who is ready to play in the First Division game at Dewsbury tomorrow.