Rugby League: Tamati depends on home produce for Kiwis' fruition

HOWIE TAMATI returns to Central Park after 10 years tomorrow, looking for confirmation that the nucleus of his team for the first Test will be up to the job.

The New Zealand coach spent the 1983-84 season hooking for Wigan. A good display there now will strengthen his belief that he does not need to call upon many of the players who have followed that lead by signing for British clubs and thus becoming unavailable for the bread and butter games on the tour.

The indications in the opening match in Swansea were that the touring party contains the basis of a highly capable side. Virtually the same line-up appears again tomorrow, demonstrating that it is the starting point from which the side for next Saturday's team for the first Test will be selected.

The players most under threat are the centres - where David Watson and perhaps another English-based player can expect a call - and front row, where Se'e Solomona of Oldham and Gavin Hill, who starts a game for Featherstone for the first time at Sheffield tomorrow, are recent internationals who may force their way into the squad.

Tea Ropati, who would have been an inviting option at stand-off, is out of St Helens' match against Wakefield with a calf strain and out of contention for the Test side. One back-rower will make way for Tawera Nikau, but Tamati's instincts argue against a clear-out.

New Zealand will face six likely members of the Great Britain side that will be named on Monday. The one player remaining from Tamati's time at Wigan, Shaun Edwards, remains strong favourite to play scrum-half but will feel himself under a fraction more pressure after Deryck Fox's match-winning display against the Kiwis at Bradford on Wednesday night.

Bradford have a crucial examination of their title credentials when they meet Warrington tomorrow in the first authentic top-of-the-table meeting of the season. The contribution of two Great Britain squad members who face each other in the centres could be pivotal; Paul Newlove should be fit after missing Bradford's match against the Kiwis with a groin strain, while Jonathan Davies is becoming increasingly influential for Warrington.

The new Rochdale player-coach, Steve Gibson, names himself at full-back against Bramley, now that a deal has been finalised to take him and Frank Cassidy to Hornets with Bob Marsden joining Salford. Bramley will be without their forward, Dean Hall, who has received the heaviest suspension of the season so far - 10 matches for an elbow to a Dewsbury opponent's head last Sunday.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
News
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Clinical Negligence

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence - Oxford An opportunity f...

Projects Financial Analyst - Global Technology firm

£55000 - £62000 per annum + outstanding benefits and bonus: Pro-Recruitment Gr...

Reception Teacher

£120 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Reception teacher required for an Outs...

Commercial B2B Pricing Specialist - Global Bids and Tenders

£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents