AUSTRALIAN Rugby League selector Les Geeves says Gorden Tallis is a "special" to replace injured Andrew Johns as national captain.
THE BARLA Great Britain Lions management have announced their squad for the one off Test match against France at Whitehaven on Saturday
FOUR teams ? Burleigh, Redcliffe, Ipswich and Wynnum are on 29 points on top of the Queensland Cup ladder with two rounds remaining before the final five play off system begins.
A fortnight ago Ipswich were alone at the top.
Tweed Heads Seagulls are in fifth spot on 26 points three points clear of Toowoomba and it seems certain the Tweed will clinch a final berth because they play lowly Souths Logan at Piggabeen this Sunday.
A win at home would keep Tweed three points ahead of Toowoomba and out of reach even if the Clydesdales beat Burleigh in this weekend?s ABC Televised clash.
The bottom appears to have fallen out of the Clydesdales season and without inspirational hooker, Barry Berrigan (suspended) there appears little chance of a win against the Bears.
Redcliffe and Wynnum clash in the battle of the bayside at Kougari Oval on Sunday and Wynnum should attract the season?s biggest crowd at a suburban football field in Brisbane.
Injury hit Ipswich meanwhile face a tough task against Easts at Langlands Park on Saturday with Easts looking to finish the season on a positive note. The Jets must win this game and secure the two premiership points to stay in the race for a top 3 spot.
In matches with no bearing on the finals Central host North Queensland at Browne Park, Rockhampton on Saturday night and Norths host Wests at Bishop Park on Sunday. The Young Guns and the Devils are expected to win but an upset is always on the cards.
Next weekend the minor premiership will be decided with the current ?big four? facing a mixed bag of games.
Wynnum have the easiest task ? against Wests at Purtell Park on Sunday.
Redcliffe and Ipswich have games against Easts and Toowoomba respectively which have the potential for upset results but really the Dolphins and Jets should prevail.
Burleigh have the toughest task because they face Tweed Heads Seagulls at Piggabeen.
If Tweed get over Souths Magpies this weekend as everyone expects and they beat Burleigh the Seagulls could even leapfrog three of the ?big four? into second spot on the ladder.
It makes for a fascinating finish to the premiership rounds with the finals to kick off on the weekend of August 30-31 with team two playing team three and team four playing team five in the knockout clash.
The minor premiers will have a bye and play the following weekend against the winners of the team 2 v 3 clash. The loser of team 4 v 5 will be eliminated with the winner playing the loser of 2 v 3.
FOR the second week in a row the round starts off in Newcastle. Both sides come into this match on the back of big wins. The Knights have only made slight rearrangements to their side from last week. Their biggest loss will be Todd Bates who scored 16 points last weekend which means Balmain will be slight favourites to take out this match.
ROUND 16 in New Zealand's Bartercard Cups heralds the end of regular play for 2003, and for the seven teams not to make the play offs, a well deserved rest.
IT'S been a great week for the southern most Tetley's Super League club ahead of this Sunday's crucial home game to Warrington, and news today that key play maker Dennis Moran has signed a new three year deal, is another
IN this week's Bulls Eye, Brian Noble and loose forward Mike Forshaw look ahead to Saturday's Tetley's Super League Round 23 game at Odsal when top of the table Bulls meet Hull FC currently in fifth place and looking for their first win in four outings.
ST Helen's prop Darren Britt has been forced to retire from Rugby League due to a severe head injury he recieved in last week's match against Hull.
WARRINGTON Wolves have signed Daryl Cardiss, 26 from Halifax from now until the end of the 2004.
ST Helens prop forward Darren Britt has retired from the game after sustaining a serious head injury.
The 33-year-old Australian suffered fractures to his eye-socket, cheekbone and jaw after an accidental clash of heads in the first minute of last week's game against Hull FC.
WIGAN Full Back Kris Radlinski has been given the news he has been waiting for, he has been given the all clear on his wrist tendon injury.
THE Newcastle Knights silenced their critics with an inspiring 36-20 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
MELBOURNE Storm rookie Billy Slater is adamant this Sunday?s crucial clash with Parramatta will be a fight to the final bell as both teams look to keep their finals hopes alive.
DRAGONS centre Mark Gasnier will have a medical before he is given clearance to make a comeback from a quad tear to play against the Sharks at Toyota Park tomorrow night.
WARRIORS Coach Daniel Anderson said he would rather face Newcastle on Friday night with Andrew Johns.