BRIAN Noble believes Australia are still Tri-Nations favourites and has predicted Craig Gower will be named Andrew Johns' halfback replacement for next Saturday's clash between the countries.
GREAT Britain has confirmed it will keep secret its halves combination for Sunday morning's Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand until just an hour before kick-off.
PETERO Civoniceva has warned his Australian team mates they will need to reproduce the "perfect half" in its Tri-Nations defence with New Zealand and Great Britain having bridged the gap in recent years.
KIWIS coach Brian McClennan has reacted angrily after Bradford winger Lesley Vainikolo was forced out of the British leg of the Tri-Nations for the second year in a row.
AUSTRALIA'S distaste for controversial New Zealander Glen Black - who is "uneasy" about refereeing his own country - has ended international rugby league's policy of using officials from neutral countries.
THE bond shared by the Kiwis will get them through their third rugby league test in as many countries in the space of a fortnight, says skipper Ruben Wiki.
FORMER captain Gorden Tallis was expecting players rather than coaching staff to get the sack at the Brisbane Broncos after yet another disappointing NRL campaign.
IT was standing room only in the Wests Tigers dressing room at Telstra Stadium last night, across the corridor Paul Rauhihi quietly contemplated the end of his Australian rugby league career.
WAYNE Bennett,Australian's longest serving and most successful coach has opened up debate about his long term future by sacking his high profile assistants.
THE Wests Tigers announced a new major sponsor yesterday but they will have an anxious wait for the signatures they seek the most, those of their coach and playmakers.