RUGBY LEAGUE: Endacott convinced by Paul

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The Independent Online
FRANK ENDACOTT, the New Zealand coach, is ready to bring Henry Paul straight back into the side for the first Test against Great Britain at Huddersfield this Saturday.

Paul missed the two recent Tests against Australia because he was playing for Wigan in the Super League finals series, but such is Endacott's assessment of his importance that he is sure to find a place for him in the 17 on duty at the McAlpine Stadium, alongside his brother, Robbie, whom he will join at Bradford next season.

"I won't get much sleep tonight, because there are three or four positions I'm still undecided about," said Endacott, who admitted that the question of where best to use the elder of the Paul brothers is one he needs to answer. He plans to name his side today, however, unlike Great Britain's Andy Goodway, who intends to keep everyone guessing for as long as humanly possible.

"I don't think there's any advantage in doing that," said Endacott, who added that he did not expect Iestyn Harris to start the game for Great Britain.

"He is obviously one of the form players in the competition, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him coming off the bench for some reason," he said. "I don't want to do the Great Britain selectors' job, because I have enough problems picking my own team."

Lynton Stott, the Sheffield Eagles utility back, is to play rugby union for the Leeds Tykes on a short-term contract. Stott was an unused substitute for Sheffield at Wembley in May and becomes a free agent in January.

Wigan and St Helens have scrapped their traditional Boxing Day derby match. The two clubs have continued the fixture during the first two years of summer rugby, but the match lost much of its credibility when Saints fielded a reserve-strength side last year.

The Wigan coach, John Monie, leaves for Australia today and will not be back to start the players' pre-season training until the first week of January.

The end of the Wigan-Saints tradition means that Leeds are now the club most committed to Boxing Day and New Year's fixtures. They intend that the Australian winger Wendell Sailor, blocked by the rugby union authorities from playing for the Tykes, will play in the two friendlies against Halifax and Castleford.

Wakefield Trinity will learn today whether their application to join Super League next season has succeeded. The First Division champions met the adjudication panel yesterday.

"It was a good meeting, but they have given us no indication," said the club's chief executive, Steve Ferres.

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