RUGBY LEAGUE; Great Britain call for Cassidy

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The Independent Online
MICK CASSIDY, Wigan's versatile forward, has played his way into Great Britain's squad to meet Australia and New Zealand this autumn.

Cassidy was surprisingly left out of the training party when it was named two months ago, but has now become the second player, after Leeds' Andy Hay, to be added to what is now a 37-man squad.

"We've brought players like Mick and Andy into the squad because they've been doing good things within their teams and that shows we've still not closed the door completely," said the Great Britain coach, Andy Goodway, who has had the chance to study Cassidy's form at close quarters in his other capacity as coach of Wigan.

Cassidy is in Wigan's starting line-up to play Gateshead in Edinburgh on Sunday, but there is no place for Tony Mestrov or the recuperating Simon Haughton, while Greg Florimo is only on the bench, with Tony Smith and Gavin Clinch paired at half-back.

Super League is not expecting as big a crowd at Hearts' ground at Tynecastle as the 8,233 that made Bradford's game against London at Leicester a solid success on Wednesday. "It was very satisfactory," said Super League's managing director, Maurice Lindsay, who said that his organisation accepted any blame for the long queues trying to buy tickets outside Welford Road, which caused a delay in the kick-off. "We apologise to anyone who was kept waiting," Lindsay said. "We should have warned Leicester they would need to open more booths to sell tickets on the night."

Despite that hiccup, the success of the evening makes it likely that Super League will take further games to Leicester, although it is soft- pedalling on suggestions that a new franchise could be established there or that the Sheffield Eagles might relocate.

Halifax's loose forward, Martin Moana, has ended the uncertainty about his future by signing a two-year extension to his present contract. Moana had been rumoured to be the next to leave the cash-strapped club, with St Helens and Warrington both showing interest.

"That Martin has chosen to stay at Halifax is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the club over the last few months and a signal to all supporters that significant and ambitious rebuilding plans are in place," the club's chief executive, Nigel Wood, said.

The former Bradford back-row forward, Simon Knox, has also signed a short- term contract with Halifax.

Paul Newlove is doubtful for St Helens' match against Huddersfield tonight with a foot injury, but their team should be otherwise unchanged.

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