PREMIERSHIP winger Daniel Fitzhenry has won the first round in the battle to wear injured superstar Benji Marshall's No.6 jumper for the Wests Tigers.Marshall's off-season shoulder surgery had led to speculation about who will partner Scott Prince in the halves for the NRL premiers when they take on Bradford in the World Club Challenge next month.Fitzhenry, who joined the Tigers from Parramatta as a five-eighth but played on the right wing in last year's grand final win over North Queensland, beat rivals Ben Reynolds and Liam Fulton for the job for the joint venture's trial against a combined Group Four side in Gunnedah on Friday.The squad will be trimmed to 17 before the team departs for England on Sunday.Squad: Brett Hodgson, Shannon McDonnell, Paul Whatuira, Dean Collis, Jamaal Lolesi, Daniel Fitzhenry, Scott Prince, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah, John Skandalis, Chris Heighington, Anthony Laffranchi, Ben Galea. Interchange: Liam Fulton, Bronson Harrison, Sam Harris, Ryan O'Hara, Ben Reynolds, Shane Elford, Keith Galloway.
WESTS Tigers must sweat on premiership-winning captain Scott Prince's future until after next month's World Club Challenge against Bradford in England.Prince said today he would not be sitting down with club management until mid-February to discuss terms for an extension of his contract. The Tigers have a busy pre-season kicking off in Gunnedah on January 27th against Country outfit Group 4, who are coached by former Souths and Newcastle prop Matt Parsons.The premiers then fly to England to lock horns with the Bulls in the World Club Challenge a week later.
A legal tug-of-war is looming over the services of rugby league player Ryan McGoldrick with NRL champions Wests Tigers and English Super League club Castleford both insisting the former Cronulla centre had signed contracts with them.Both clubs have dug in their heels over the 24-year-old after Castleford claimed McGoldrick had signed a one-year contract with the side three months after Wests Tigers signed him for 2006.Castleford chief executive Richard Wright has told the BBC McGoldrick was able to obtain a release from his contract to join a Super League club. But Wests Tigers recruitment manager Warren McDonnell says Castleford had overstepped the mark and the NRL club hoped to clear up the matter when McGoldrick returns from a New Year break and meets with Tigers chief executive Steve Noyce and coach Tim Sheens on January 9.NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley says the matter may have to be decided legally if Wests Tigers refuse to grant a release.