Rugby League: McRae wants Saints to show some Wigan hunger

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The Independent Online
After all the virtues St Helens have displayed this season, their coach, Shaun McRae, wants them to extend their repertoire into the deadly sins tomorrow by exhibiting a greed verging on gluttony.

Saints go into the Stones Premiership final against Wigan with the Challenge Cup and the Super League title already safely in their keeping.

"It would be very easy for us to sit back and say that, even if we don't get the result at Old Trafford, we've still got two trophies," McRae said.

"Champion sides don't think like that. They get greedy and want more - which is how Wigan maintained their hunger for all those years."

McRae has been forced to rule out Chris Joynt, the Great Britain forward whose knee operation, scheduled for next week, was brought forward to yesterday.

"It became clear that he wasn't going to make it. We lose a lot of work- rate and experience, but Derek McVey is an impact player, so we gain something there."

McVey's place on the bench will go to one of Simon Booth, Andy Northey and Dean Busby.

The Wigan coach, Graeme West, has named the same 17 that beat the Bradford Bulls in their semi-final, although there is a hint that he might shuffle his pack to start with Kelvin Skerrett, who will be making what is due to be his last appearance for the club before becoming a free agent.

There is a strong flavour of leave-taking as well in the Divisional Premiership final that forms the first half of the programme at Old Trafford.

The former Wigan utility man, Sam Panapa, plays his last game for Salford before taking up a a coaching post at the Auckland Warriors and after a career during which he has been what his coach, Andy Gregory, calls "one of the best, if not the best professional I have been associated with."

It is also Phil Larder's last match as coach at the Keighley Cougars. He hopes to be confirmed in a new job before departing on tour with Great Britain in two weeks, but his priority tomorrow will be to end on a winning note.

Salford have beaten Keighley twice in the league, but the Cougars' recent form has been impressive and Larder could have his Australian centre, Andrew King, back in action.

Peter Tunks is leaving his job as chief executive of Wakefield Trinity, citing uncertainties over the future of first and second division clubs as the reason behind his decision.

Sheffield Eagles are trying to raise the money for a bid that will tempt Warrington to part with Iestyn Harris, who is transfer-listed at what would be a world record pounds 1.35m.

Oldham have put nine players on the transfer list in an end-of-season clear out.