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Federation Shield TV coverage

THE RFL has announced that following the agreement to broadcast the two Federation Shield 2006 fixtures to be played in France live across southern France/Catalonia, including Barcelona, with French television company Canal Plus, a revised fixture list has been issued.France will now play Samoa in Colomiers on Sunday, October 29 rather than Saturday, October 28, while the France v Tonga fixture will now kick off at 3.45pm on Sunday, November 5.The England v France game on October 22 and the Shield Final on November 12 will be televised live by Sky Sports.What?s more, a special offer for Rugby League?s newest international tournament, the Federation Shield 2006, has been announced by the RFL.Now all Rugby League club season ticket holders who want to see matches involving England, France, Samoa and Tonga this autumn will qualify for a special discounted ticket deal.The Federation Shield already offers fantastic value for money with tickets priced at ?15 and ?10 for adults, and ?5 for concessions.All junior season ticket holders can take advantage of a ?Quid a Kid? offer, while adult tickets are available with a ?5 reduction. Senior Citizens can also purchase their concession tickets for ?1.Tickets can be purchased from RFL Ticketing on 0870 990 1313. Season ticket numbers will have to be stated to receive the offers above.Simon Malcolm, the RFL?s Director of Marketing, said: ?The Federation Shield will offer fans the opportunity to see some of the engage Super League?s best players as well as up-and-coming international stars.?We wanted as many Rugby League fans as possible to have the opportunity of watching these exciting fixtures as well as rewarding them for their loyalty to their sport of Rugby League throughout 2006?.The revised fixture list is as follows:- 22 October 2006 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, LeedsTonga v Samoa (3.45pm)England v France (5.45pm) 29 October 2006 at Twickenham Stoop, LondonEngland v Tonga (3.00pm)29 October 2006 at Benichou Stadium, ColomiersFrance v Samoa (5.30pm)5 November 2006 at KC Stadium, HullEngland v Samoa (3.00pm)5 November 2006 at Municipal Stadium Pierre, Antoine, CastresFrance v Tonga (3.45pm) 12 November 2006 at Halton Stadium, WidnesFederation Shield Final (3.30pm)Source: www.therfl.co.uk

England name train-on squad

ENGLAND Rugby League have named a 20-man train-on squad to begin preparations for this autumn?s 2006 Federation Shield tournament.

Bulls salary cap hearing date

FOLLOWING the independent audit of the 2005 Salary Cap returns for engage Super League, it has been found that Bradford Bulls have a case to answer relating to an alleged breach.

Wigan fined, deducted two points

AT a meeting of the RFL independent judiciary panel, the Wigan Warriors club has been found guilty of breaching the 2005 Super League Salary Cap.The panel found that the Wigan club had a Salary Cap of between 52 and 55 per cent (of relevant club income) at the end of 2005 and therefore, in accordance with the RFL?s Operational Rules (which set a limit on spending of no more than 50% of relevant club income), has suffered a penalty of the deduction of two competition points.The panel also found that in the course of the breach, the Wigan club was guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game. They have been fined ?50,000 plus costs in respect of this.The Wigan club pleaded guilty to both charges in the course of the hearing.Both penalties take immediate effect and thus the deduction of competition points applies to the current 2006 engage Super League competition table.An officially revised table will be published in due course. A date for the hearing regarding Bradford's case is yet to be disclosed.Source: www.therfl.co.uk

Alleged salary cap breaches...

THE independent audit of the 2005 Salary Cap returns for both the engage Super League and the LHF National League One has been completed.

Harrison quits as England coach

SALFORD City Reds boss Karl Harrison has stepped down as England coach after two years in charge.

Challenge Cup Quarterfinal Previews

THIS weekend Superleague takes a break for the quarterfinals of the Challenge Cup Competition. There are eight teams left in this knock out comeptition, and the quarterfinal match ups are: Huddersfield v Salford, Hull Kingston Rovers (NL1) v Warrington, Leeds v Harlequins, St Helens v Les Catalans.- - - - -HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS v SALFORD CITY REDSSalford City Reds have not won at Huddersfield Giants since 2001 when they had a 32-24 Super League victory. The only Salford survivors from that match are Stuart Littler (2 tries), Andy Coley (1 try), Malcolm Alker (1 try) and Paul Highton. Since then Salford have lost on all five trips to Huddersfield, including 32-18 a few weeks ago. Alker and Highton also played when Salford won 22-14 at Huddersfield the last time the two teams met in the Challenge Cup, in 1999.Last semi-final appearance:Huddersfield v St. Helens Lost 6-46 At Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington ? 2004Salford v Sheffield E. Lost 18-22 At Headingley, Leeds ? 1998Previous RL Challenge Cup meetings:1898-99 (R4) Salford 8 Huddersfield 01899-00 (3) Salford 6 Huddersfield 51901-02 (4) Huddersfield 6 Salford 91914-15 (3) Huddersfield 33 Salford 01956-57 (2) Salford 2 Huddersfield 61958-59 (2) Salford 15 Huddersfield 21960-61 (2) Salford 13 Huddersfield 51969-70 (2) Huddersfield 0 Salford 0Replay Salford 11 Huddersfield 51976-77 (1) Salford 25 Huddersfield 21977-78 (2) Huddersfield 13 Salford 31999 (5) Huddersfield 14 Salford 22- - - - -HULL KINGSTON ROVERS v WARRINGTON WOLVESHull Kingston Rovers are aiming to become only the second English lower division* club to reach the semi-finals of the Powergen Challenge Cup during the Super League era. Widnes are the only club to have done it, losing 24-14 to St. Helens in 1996, the first year of Super League. Before Super League, the last club from outside the top division to reach the semi-finals was Oldham in 1990 when they lost 10-6 to Warrington. Hull K.R. and Warrington have not met since 1993-94 when Rovers were last in the top division. Warrington won away 26-10 to complete a League double. Rovers had a 13-11 home victory the previous season. Their last appearance in the quarter finals was in 1998 when they lost 46-18 at London Broncos.*French club Toulouse reached the semi-final last year and were beaten by Leeds Rhinos.Last semi-final appearance:Hull K.R.v Leeds Drew 24-24 Elland Road, Leeds ? 1986Replay Won 17-0 Elland Road, Leeds ? 1986Warrington v Wigan W. Lost 18-30 At Halton Stadium, Widnes ? 2004Previous RL Challenge Cup meetings:1904-05 (F) Warrington 6 Hull K.R. 0 At Leeds1911-12 (R2) Hull K.R. 3 Warrington 3Replay Warrington 3 Hull K.R. 01912-13 (2) Warrington 13 Hull K.R. 61927-28 (2) Hull K.R. 0 Warrington 51931-32 (1) Warrington 4 Hull K.R. 21948-49 (1)* Warrington 17 Hull K.R. 7Hull K.R. 5 Warrington 281949-50 (1)* Hull K.R. 2 Warrington 12Warrington 24 Hull K.R. 41979-80 (3) Hull K.R. 23 Warrington 111988-89 (3) Hull K.R. 4 Warrington 30* Two legs- - - - -LEEDS RHINOS v HARLEQUINS RLChallenge Cup meetings between these two teams invariably inspire memories of the last final to be played at Wembley in 1999. Then Leeds cantered to a record final victory of 52-16. None of the players is still in either club?s first team squad. Harlequins had a 32-24 ?home? win last season in a match that was played in Perpigan, but their last win at Headingley was 18-6 in 2000. Leeds beat them 32-12 in last year?s quarter-final at Headingley.Last semi-final appearance:Leeds v Toulouse Won 56-18 At Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield ? 2005Harlequins v Castleford Won 33-27 At Headingley, Leeds ? 1999Previous RL Challenge Cup meetings (Harlequins formerly London Broncos):1998-99 (F) Leeds 52 London B. 16 At Wembley2003 (R5) Leeds 21 London B. 122005 (6) Leeds 32 London B. 12- - - - -ST. HELENS v CATALANS DRAGONSAlthough the clubs have not met in the Challenge Cup before, St. Helens had a 70-6 fourth round win at Union Trezeiste Catalan in 2003. The Saints also had a 34-20 win at Catalans Dragons earlier this season in the engage Super League. They are aiming for a sixth successive semi-final, having won the Cup twice and been beaten finalists once since 2001.Last semi-final appearance:St. Helens v Hull FC Lost 8-34 At Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield ? 2005Catalans: NoneNo previous RL Challenge Cup meetings

Challenge Cup: Round Five Previews

THE fifth Round of the 2006 Powergen Challenge Cup takes place this weekend. Superleague and National League One competitions have the weekend off while the final 16 teams battle for places in the Quarter Finals of this prestigous knock-out cup competition.

G.B. training squad announced

THE Great Britain Training squad has been announced:1. Burrow, Rob ? Leeds Rhinos 2. Carney, Brian ? Newcastle Knights 3. Cunningham, Keiron ? St Helens 4. Deacon, Paul ? Bradford Bulls 5. Ellis, Gareth ? Leeds Rhinos 6. Fielden, Stuart ? Bradford Bulls 7. Gardner, Ade ? St Helens 8. Gilmour, Lee ? St Helens 9. Gleeson, Martin ? Warrington Wolves 10. Graham, James ? St Helens 11. Harris, Iestyn ? Bradford Bulls 12. Higham, Michael ? Wigan Warriors 13. Hock, Gareth ? Wigan Warriors 14. Horne, Richard ? Hull FC 15. Johnson, Paul ? Bradford Bulls 16. King, Paul ? Hull FC 17. Langley, Jamie ? Bradford Bulls 18. Long, Sean ? St Helens 19. Lynch, Andy ? Bradford Bulls 20. McGuire, Danny ? Leeds Rhinos 21. Morley, Adrian - Sydney Roosters 22. Newton, Terry ? Bradford Bulls 23. O?Loughlin, Sean ? Wigan Warriors 24. Peacock, Jamie ? Leeds Rhinos (Vice-Captain) 25. Pryce, Leon ? St Helens 26. Raynor, Gareth, Hull FC 27. Roby, James ? St Helens 28. Sculthorpe, Paul ? St Helens (Captain) 29. Senior, Keith ? Leeds Rhinos 30. Sinfield, Kevin - Leeds Rhinos 31. Walker, Chev ? Leeds Rhinos 32. Wellens, Paul ? St Helens 33. Wild, Stephen ? Huddersfield Giants 34. Wilkin, Jon ? St Helens 35. Wood, Paul ? Warrington Wolves 36. Yeaman, Kirk ? Hull FCThere are seven players within this 36-man squad who have not previously been capped at Great Britain level.They are: Ade Gardner, James Graham, Gareth Hock, Jamie Langley, Andy Lynch, James Roby and Kirk Yeaman.Ade Gardner and Jamie Langley were included in the 2005 mid-season Great Britain squad which took part in a training camp at the University of Bath.As part of preparations for the ?XXXX? Test against New Zealand (27.6.06), the Great Britain squad will take part in two training days in May and early June prior to going into camp on Sunday, 25th June 2006. Brian Carney and Adrian Morley will not be available for these training days in May and early June but will be considered for selection for the ?XXXX? Test against New Zealand.The Great Britain team is sponsored by Gillette.The ?XXXX? Test: Great Britain v New Zealand, Tuesday 27th June 2006 (KO 8pm) at Knowsley Road, St Helens RLFC.

C Cup R4: Wigan v Wakefield

WIGAN cast aside their engage Super League blues with a dramatic fightback to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup courtesy of a 32-22 win over Wakefield.One-time Cup kings Wigan, bottom of the table after winning just one of their opening seven games, looked to be heading out of the famous knockout tournament when they trailed 22-6 just before half-time.But they got their act together, inspired by skipper Sean O?Loughlin and the experienced Dennis Moran, to run in 26 unanswered points and book their place in Tuesday?s fifth-round draw.The win will lift the pressure on coach Ian Millward but increase the gloom at Belle Vue, where the Wildcats let slip a 21-0 lead against Warrington a week earlier.Wigan, who gave a debut to 18-year-old prop Eamonn O?Carroll, now have seven weeks to prepare for their next Cup task and will be hoping this result can kick-start their League campaign, starting with another trip to Belle Vue next Friday. Wakefield, who like Wigan were without five regulars through injury, made good use of the stiff breeze to build a 16-point lead but the turning point came just before the break thanks to an act of petulance.The Wildcats had defended stoically to force a handover near their own line but full-back Colum Halpenny, with an eye on half-time, tossed the ball away to waste time and was rightly penalised by referee Karl Kirkpatrick.Wigan ran the ball and full-back Chris Ashton took Bryan Fletcher?s pass to go through a gap in the home defence for a try which gave his side a lifeline.Ashton had earlier gifted Wakefield a score when he failed to gather Jamie Rooney?s grubber kick and substitute Paul White pounced for his second try in five minutes.White had finished off a fine break by fellow substitute Mark Applegarth to grab his first while scrum-half Sam Obst scored one try with a jinking run and created another for second rower Jamie Field with a pinpoint kick.Wigan created several chances, particularly through the darting runs from dummy half by Mick Higham, but ruined most of them through slipshod handling in the difficult conditions.Higham scored the other first-half try, his first for the Warriors, after Sean O?Loughlin?s kick had eluded Wakefield centre Jason Demetriou.But it was a different story in the second half as O?Loughlin and Moran seized the initiative.O?Loughlin went over within 90 seconds of the restart, brushing off the attempted tackle from Field, and when Moran successfully chased his own kick to the line it brought the scores level.Rooney tried to break the deadlock with a drop goal which sailed wide and Wigan edged in front for the first time on 65 minutes with a penalty from Tickle after Field had been punished for interference at the play-the-ball.Wakefield left winger Semi Tadulala crossed on 68 minutes but was brought back for a forward pass earlier in the move and, at the other end, Wigan?s Pat Richards dropped the ball with the line open.The tie was finally settled through another comedy of errors, with Tadulala failing to clear the danger caused by Moran?s kick and centre David Vaealiki pounced on the loose ball to score.Wakefield: (22) 22Tries: Field, Obst, White 2Goals: Rooney 3Wigan: (12) 32Try: Higham, Ashton, O?Loughlin, Moran VaealikiGoals: Tickle 3, Godwin, Richards 2Wakefield: Halpenny, Buchanan, Demetriou, Whittle, Tadulala, Rooney, Obst, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Elima, J. Field, Betham. Replacements: White, Wrench, Applegarth, Catic.Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, Vaealiki, Richards, Dallas, Brown, Moran, Seu Seu, Higham, Hargreaves, Tickle, Fletcher,O?Loughlin. Replacements: Prescott, O?Carroll, Godwin, Tomkins.Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)Att: 3,123

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