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Paul Sculthorpe, the man widely tipped to take over as captain of Great Britain from the Rugby bound Andy Farrell, returns to the St Helens line up for Friday night?s game versus 6th placed Warrington at Knowsley Road. With St Helens sitting second on the ladder with 18 points, 2 points behind leaders Leeds, this game is a must win for the Saints who know Leeds should prove to classy for the mid table Huddersfield team tomorrow night.
The local derby should be a gripping contest and there is added spice to this affair given Sculthorpe was signed from Warrington back in 1997 where he has gone on to become arguably the best player in the Super League competition. The 101kg, 6 foot 3 lock is a 2 time winner of the of the coveted ?Man of Steel? award (awarded to the games best player in the Super League competition) going back to back in 2001 and 2002.
Having missed the last 6 games for St Helens due to a back injury which led on to play a part in the recent hamstring tear, coach Ian Millward is confident his star lock is ready to go for tomorrow night?s encounter telling the media contingent, "He's improved 100% over the last two or three weeks and medically he's right to play. He would have played in the last three weeks if it was up to him.?
A fit and firing Paul Schulthorpe will ensure Millward?s men remain in touch with the Leeds Rhinos for the rest of the 2005 season. More importantly, a fit and firing Paul Sculthorpe will go along way to ensuring England are competitive when taking on the might of the Australians and New Zealanders in the Tri-Series where he looks to do what Farrell could not...unsurp the Australian outfit as the number 1 international team.
Welcome back Mr. Sculthorpe, may the Rugby League gods cast a watchful eye over your return to the field for the remainder of the 2005 season.