THE Australian Rugby League has announced a 44-man squad to go into camp this weekend with new coach Ricky Stuart.The squad will meet to begin advance preparations for the Kangaroos' bid to win back the Tri Nations crown they lost to New Zealand last year. Andrew Johns, Ben Kennedy, Brent Tate, Craig Gower, Danny Duderus, Darren Lockyer, Petero Civoniceva, Shaun Berrigan, as well as players from the Wests Tigers side preparing to meet Bradford in the World Club Challenge, were not considered due to prior commitments.Bolters for the squad include Melbourne youngster Greg Inglis and Parramatta halfback Tim Smith.The full squad by club is: Bulldogs: Andrew Ryan, Mark O'Meley, Willie Mason, Willie TongaCronulla: Ben Ross, Brett KimmorleyManly: Brent Kite, Steve MenziesMelbourne: Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Matt King, Michael CrockerNewcastle: Clint Newton, Steve SimpsonNew Zealand Warriors: Steve PriceNorth Queensland: Carl Webb, Johnathan Thurston, Luke O'Donnell, Matt BowenParramatta: Eric Grothe, Nathan Hindmarsh, Tim Smith, Timana TahuPenrith: Rhys Wesser, Trent Waterhouse, Luke LewisSt George Illawarra: Ashston Sims, Ben Creagh, Ben Hornby, Dean Young, Jason Ryles, Luke Bailey, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Trent BarrettSouth Sydney: John SuttonSydney Roosters: Anthony Tupou, Ashley Harrison, Braith Anasta, Craig Fitzgibbon, Craig Wing, Ryan Cross, Anthony Minichiello
AUSTRALIAN Rugby League chairman Colin Love wants Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett to explain his controversial return from the failed Tri Nations campaign in Britain.But Love has all but confirmed Bennett will retain the national coaching job despite leading Australia to its first series loss in 27 years. Bennett caused a furore when he slipped past waiting media at Brisbane airport last Thursday.Love says he was less than impressed by Bennett's actions and will discuss the matter at next Monday's ARL board meeting in Sydney.
THE cold snap in England's north is causing problems for the touring Kangaroos who have again been forced to delay training to allow the ground to thaw out.
THE future of the Tri Nations tournament should be clearer later tonight (AEDT time) after the Rugby League Federation executive meets in Leeds.
AUSTRALIA'S Tri Nations defence could receive a boost with injured five-eighth Trent Barrett confident of proving his fitness at training in Manchester today.
PROP Jason Ryles is confident a hand injury suffered in Australia's 44-12 Test win over France will not jeopardise the rest of his Tri Nations campaign.
COACH Wayne Bennett says he's made changes to Australia's side for Saturday's big Tri Nations clash with Great Britain to strike a balance in the forwards and because of the likelihood of firmer playing conditions at Hull.
KANGAROOS captain Darren Lockyer and forward Nathan Hindmarsh have both been ruled out of the rest of the Tri Nations rugby league series with injury.
CRAIG Gower will captain Australia for the first time when the Kangaroos take on France in a one-off rugby league Test in Perpignan on Saturday.
SYDNEY Roosters utility Craig Wing has been called up for the Kangaroos squad after captain Darren Lockyer and Nathan Hindmarsh were ruled out of the Tri Nations tour in a double injury blow.