DANNY McGuire and David Hodgson scored two tries each as Great Britain cruised past a Newcastle Select XIII 40-6 in a Tri-Nations warm-up game.
GREAT Britain have released four players from their squad ahead of their opening Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.Warrington duo Lee Briers and Ben Westwood, Salford's David Hodgson and Wigan's Mickey Higham will return home.They were part of a stand-by squad which helped Britain beat a Newcastle team in a warm-up match on Friday."Following our warm-up game, the staff have now finalised their plans for the series," said team manager Abi Ekoku."We would like thank the players returning home for their contributions to the squad and the professionalism they have shown during their time with the group," added Ekoku.Briers, who won his solitary Great Britain cap against France in 2001, will now be free to captain Wales in their World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Bridgend next Sunday.Westwood, Hodgson and Higham may be made available for England's games against Tonga and Samoa in the Federation Shield. Great Britain players remaining for Tri-Nations matches:Martin Aspinwall (Huddersfield Giants)Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos)Brian Carney (Newcastle Knights)Garreth Carvell (Hull FC), Andy Coley (Salford City Reds)Gareth Ellis (Leeds Rhinos)Stuart Fielden (Wigan Warriors)Lee Gilmour (St Helens)Martin Gleeson (Warrington Wolves)Gareth Hock (Wigan Warriors)Richard Horne (Hull FC), Sean Long (St Helens)Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos)Adrian Morley (Sydney Roosters)Terry Newton (Bradford Bulls)Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors)Danny Peacock (Leeds Rhinos, capt) Leon Pryce (St Helens)Gareth Raynor (Hull FC)James Roby (St Helens)Keith Senior (Leeds Rhinos)Paul Wellens (St Helens)Jon Wilkin (St Helens)Paul Wood (Warringtom Wolves)Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC)Stand by: Stuart Reardon (Warrington Wolves)Source: bbc.co.uk
TWO tries in four minutes earned St Helens a Challenge Cup, minor Premiership and Grand Final treble but only after brave resistance from Hull.
SECOND row Graeme Horne is Hull's only injury concern ahead of Saturday's Super League Grand Final against St Helens at Old Trafford.Horne, 21, hurt his ankle during his side's win over Bradford in last Friday's final eliminator.Older brother Richard Horne has shaken off an Achilles strain and will start.St Helens are set to field the team that beat Hull 12-8 in the qualifying semi-final, with captain Paul Sculthorpe their sole injury absentee.International duo Vinnie Anderson and Nick Fozzard, who were also left out of their victorious Challenge Cup final team, are expected to miss out again.Coach Daniel Anderson's only dilemma appears to be whether to start with Lee Gilmour or Mike Bennett in the second row.Anderson said: "Everyone is fit and there are no issues. There are no prizes for guessing what our 17 run-on will be."It's still a tough choice and there is still disappointment in the squad."Anderson added that his treble-chasing team are raring to go after sitting out two of the last three weekends."They're finely-tuned athletes who enjoy confrontation - that's our sport - so when there is no confrontation, they do get wound up," he said."But it's been a very long year. We haven't had any real time off. The two weeks we've had off in the play-off series have been a blessing for us because it's our 35th game this week."Hull coach Peter Sharp said: "We've a few bumps and bruises but we should be OK."Graeme Horne has a little bit of an ankle injury but we think he should be OK."Richard Horne had a bit of a sharp pain in his Achilles and he had to come off and it was a bit worrying for a while, but he seems to be fine."Utility back Richard Whiting, who was on the bench for Hull's qualifying semi-final defeat at St Helens, is the likely replacement if Horne fails to recover.Saturday's game is expected to be a 73,000 sell-out, with Old Trafford's increased capacity already ensuring a record attendance for a Grand Final. For St Helens Vinnie Anderson and Ian Hardman have been left out of the final 18-man squad, while for Hull youngsters Matty Dale and Tommy Lee are the players that drop out for the season's final game.St Helens v Hull - Super League Grand FinalSaturday, 14 October 2006Old Trafford, ManchesterKick-off: 1800 BSTSt Helens 18-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Roby, Bennett, Hooper, P. Anderson, Graham, Fa'asavalu.Hull FC 18-man squad: Briscoe, Carvell, Chester, Cooke, Domic, Dowes, G. Horne, R. Horne, King, McMenemy, Radford, Raynor, Swain, Tony, Washbrook, Wheeldon, Whiting, Yeaman.Referee: Karl KirkpatrickSource: bbc.co.uk
SALFORD skipper Malcolm Alker is hoping to avoid more public humiliation at Bradford on Saturday in his side's first-ever Super League play-off tie.
LEEDS welcome back Jamie Peacock and Chev Walker as they face Warrington in the first elimination play-off ahead of next month's Grand Final.
DAVID Solomona has urged the Rugby Football League to ditch promotion and relegation from Super League.
CASTLEFORD are hoping to persuade Terry Matterson to remain as coach despite their relegation from Super League.
CASTLEFORD are pushing for Super League to be expanded to 13 clubs for the 2007 season so they can avoid the drop.
WARRINGTON ensured they will be in the Super League play-offs for the second season in a row after handing out a rare defeat to second-placed Hull.