Rugby League: Florimo opts for Italy

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The Independent Online
GREG FLORIMO, Wigan's Australian stand-off, has declared himself available to play for Italy in the Mediterranean Cup in November, which will act as a stepping stone to next year's World Cup.

Italy will meet Lebanon and Morocco for the right to play the winners of another qualifying group comprising Japan, Canada and the United States for the 16th place in the World Cup - a game that could be played in England or possibly Philadelphia - and Florimo's Italian ancestry would make him an important addition to their side.

Florimo has been added to Wigan's squad to play Sheffield tonight after being rested from the team beaten at Castleford last Friday. Tony Mestrov, who was also left out, and Simon Haughton, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, have also been included.

Sheffield's Karl Lovell, who was called to the Rugby League to answer a charge of striking an opponent late with a fore-arm, will miss the match, having received a three-game suspension after being found guilty of using his elbow in an ill-tempered 24-6 win over Wakefield, whose Glen Tomlinson, sent off in the same match, has been banned for two games for foul and abusive language. Peter Gill, of the London Broncos, has been banned for one match and fined pounds 200 for a careless high tackle during their 28-14 defeat by Warrington last Sunday.

Workington Town, who are releasing the former Wigan forward Andy Platt from his coaching contract, have appointed Gary Murdock in his place.