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ST ALBANS CENTURIONS centre Dene Miller has the opportunity of a lifetime next Tuesday when he lines up against some of the greatest players rugby league has ever seen. Miller, from Welwyn Garden City, has been invited to join a London XIII that will play the Australian Legends in a tour match at Blackheath RFC on November 11 at 3pm, part of the Aussies trip around the UK accompanying the Kangaroos on their Ashes series.
Miller, who was voted into the National League 3 Dream Team last season and was the competition's top tryscorer, will be up against the likes of Allan Langer, Mal Meninga, Jason Hetherington, Chris Mortimer, Marl Carroll and Eric Grothe. Langer and Hetherington were playing top class rugby league only last season, 'Alfie' for Queensland and Hetherington for London Broncos. The London side will be coached by St Albans' coach Peter Tonkin.
THE NATIONAL League St Albans Centurions will return to action in Herts on Sunday 16 November when they play South London Storm in a friendly at Harpenden RFC on Redbourn Road. Both sides are warming up for their Powergen Rugby League Challenge Cup first round games, with the only two southern National League 3 clubs in the draw both getting byes from the preliminary round, which takes place that weekend. St Albans go to Bradford to play Pennine League side Birkenshaw on 29 November.
The Cents should have several new signings on show against South London, with coach Peter Tonkin welcoming a group of fresh faces to the club in recent weeks. "We'll have been training for a month soon and I think I've got my team settled in my head already," said Tonkin, voted NL3 Coach of the Year by the Rugby Football League last month. "The new guys have settled in well and we're looking to get them signed up for the Challenge Cup. Some of my regulars from last year are not going to get back into the side easily, which is how it should be."
Three of the new arrivals are from Luton Vipers: forward Graham Lumley, prop Alex Murphy and centre Rob Lane. They join two other former Luton players in the Cents' ranks: Richard Smith and Matt Thomas. And Tonkin is now trying to woo two of Smith's former England amateur international team-mates to the Woollams-based club. A scrum-half and a second-row forward, the targetted players, who both play in the RL Conference at present, would be the third and fourth England Amateur internationals to join the Cents this year after Callum Irving and Smith himself.