Rugby league: Goulding back in fold

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BOBBIE GOULDING is set to return for St Helens in the match that could see the London Broncos move into the top five for the first time this season, writes Dave Hadfield.

Goulding, a Great Britain and England half-back was left out of Saints' 17 for the last two weeks, played half of a reserve game against Widnes on Thursday night and is one of their substitutes against the Broncos tomorrow evening. His coach, Shaun McRae, plans to use him at some stage of what is traditionally a tight fixture.

"Bobbie knows why he was left out of the team and I'm hoping he has now had his wake-up call," he said. "We know what a confident, switched-on Bobbie Goulding can do. When he plays well, everyone plays well. I've been very pleased with Sean Long and Tommy Martyn at half-back, but he was always going to come back and put pressure on them for his place.''

The match at Knowsley Road is a pivotal one for London as well, with a victory by 12 points or more taking them into the play-off zone despite the general perception that they are not yet fully on song.

They try a new half-back combination of Glen Air and Damien Chapman at Saints. The vast experience of Terry Matterson and Mark Carroll is available from the bench, but Martin Offiah and John Timu are still missing.

The Super League leaders, Leeds, try to take their winning start to the season into double figures at Hull, who have lost seven on the trot.

Leeds have Adrian Morley back after suspension. He replaces Anthony Farrell, who drops to the bench, alongside Jamie Mathiou, who comes in for the injured Marc Glanville.

An increasingly desperate Hull have new injury problems with Jamie Smith and Simon Booth, but Graeme Hallas and Dean Busby could return.

Peter Edwards' run of 84 successive games as hooker for Salford comes to an end at Halifax, where the 19-year-old Malcolm Alker is preferred. Cliff Eccles is also dropped for the match against the third-placed surprise side of the moment.

A decision on planning permission for a shopping park and a stadium that would host a proposed Super League franchise was deferred by Swansea Council yesterday.

Rochdale have signed 18-year-old prop Danny Sculthorpe, brother of St Helens and Great Britain forward Paul, on a three-and-a-half-year contract after he was given a free transfer by Warrington. He joined the Wolves as makeweight in the pounds 370,000 transfer that took Iestyn Harris to Leeds a year ago.

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