Rugby League: Schofield ready for deciding Test

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TO NOBODY'S surprise, Great Britain have named an unchanged starting 13 for the deciding third Test here tomorrow, writes Dave Hadfield from Brisbane.

Two key players, the stand-off and captain, Garry Schofield, and the loose forward, Phil Clarke, had given the camp some cause for alarm by going down with food poisoning. But Clarke trained last night and Schofield expects to do so tomorrow, leaving the tour manager, Maurice Lindsay, as the only remaining victim.

The other absentee last night at a public training session at the Test venue, Lang Park, was Kelvin Skerrett, but that was merely a precaution after his semi-permanent ankle condition gave him a warning twinge in the morning.

The Great Britain coach, Malcolm Reilly, will name his four substitutes today. He hinted that there could be one change from the four on duty in Melbourne. The most logical move would be to include Deryck Fox, who has not only been in outstanding form but would also provide some missing cover at scrum-half.

Australia have no new problems and are looking forward to returning to familiar turf after Melbourne. 'It was like playing at Central Park,' Bob Fulton, the Australian coach, said. 'But it will be very different in Brisbane.'

There will, however, be 8,000 British supporters in a capacity 30,000 crowd. 'We will appreciate the value of having those people there,' Reilly said. 'They will give us the support our lads deserve.'

Fulton maintains that if Australia control the ball - coach-speak for not dropping it as often as they did in Melbourne - they will win. But odds at bookmakers here of 9- 4 against Great Britain seem over generous.

GREAT BRITAIN (v Australia, third Test, Brisbane, tomorrow): Steadman (Castleford); Eastwood (Hull), Powell (Sheffield Eagles), Newlove (Featherstone Rovers), Offiah (Wigan); Schofield (Leeds, capt), Edwards; Skerrett, Dermott, Platt, Betts, McGinty, Clarke (all Wigan).

Andy Gregory, who came out of retirement for Great Britain's tour but returned home injured a fortnight ago, was transfer-listed yesterday at pounds 75,000 after rejecting a new contract with Wigan, the club he helped to a treble last season.