Overnight Wrap


The Prime Minister's XIII rugby league side to play Papua New Guinea will receive a makeover after three key players were ruled out of the match.

Roosters backrower Craig Fitzgibbon, Tigers hooker Robbie Farah and Newcastle forward Steve Simpson all failed medicals after being selected for the September 23 match in Port Moresby.

Fitzgibbon and Simpson have also been ruled out of the Kangaroos' train-on squad for next month's Test match with New Zealand in Wellington. But Farah should recover in time to remain in contention.

The injuries mean selectors will today anoint a new captain for the Mal Meninga-coached side. Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince is the favourite.

Parramatta five-eighth Brett Finch says Bulldogs wingers Matt Utai and Hazem El Masri can expect a barrage of high balls in Saturday night's semi-final at Telstra Stadium.

Utai and El Masri are two of the shortest wingers in the NRL and they come up against tall Parramatta stars Eric Grothe and Krisnan Inu. Grothe has a 20cm height advantage over Utai and is one of the strongest wingers in the NRL.

Finch says the Eels will continue to kick to Grothe and Inu but denies it is to specifically target the Dogs but rather play to the strength of his own teammates.

Parramatta coach Michael Hagan wants a stricter policing of the 10 metre rule when the Eels clash with the Bulldogs in Saturday night's semi-final at Telstra Stadium.

Hagan says the Dogs are very good at moving off the line and has spoken to referees' boss Robert Finch about ensuring whistleblower Shayne Hayne keeps a decent 10 metres.

Hagan is unfazed with the Bulldogs plans to attack kickers Tim Smith and Brett Finch, revealing he will instruct his own forwards to arrow in on Ben Roberts and Brent Sherwin.