Rugby League: Leeds respect recent history

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SUPER LEAGUE'S bottom club, Hull, defend a remarkable home record against Leeds tonight in a match which recent history suggests will be nowhere near as one-sided as their respective positions seem to dictate. Leeds have won just once in their last nine visits to The Boulevard, which include a 22-10 defeat that ended their winning run at the start of last campaign.

"The only memory the players have is of last season when we went there unbeaten and lost in perhaps our poorest performance," said the Leeds assistant coach, Damien McGrath, who is standing in until Monday's return of Graham Murray from compassionate leave in Australia.

The forgotten man of the Leeds pack, Martin Masella, makes his first appearance since April as the regular props, Barrie McDermott and Darren Fleary, are both resting minor knee injuries.

Hull, who have won just two matches this season, recall their Australian winger David Baildon, which enables the promising youngster Craig Poucher to move to full-back in place of Steve Prescott, who could miss the rest of the season after dislocating his elbow.

Salford, just three points clear of Hull at the foot of the table, have changed their name to the Salford City Reds to emphasise their local identity and links with the city's council.

Halifax have been told to produce evidence that Wigan breached the Super League's code of conduct by signing David Hodgson from Halifax this week. A meeting of Super League clubs yesterday decided that they could take no action until Halifax back up their accusation of an illegal approach to the player.

Super League and the Rugby League are to hold further consultations before announcing any decisions over applications for Super League membership for next season.

Leigh, in the leading group in the Northern Ford Premiership, have signed Sheffield Eagles' back-row forward or stand-off Paul Anderson on a five- match loan. Anderson joined the Eagles from St Helens last winter but has made few first-team appearances and sees a stint with his home-town club as a means of kick-starting his career. He could face Rochdale Hornets on Sunday.