Superleague Grand Final Preview


Second row Graeme Horne is Hull's only injury concern ahead of Saturday's Super League Grand Final against St Helens at Old Trafford.

Horne, 21, hurt his ankle during his side's win over Bradford in last Friday's final eliminator.

Older brother Richard Horne has shaken off an Achilles strain and will start.

St Helens are set to field the team that beat Hull 12-8 in the qualifying semi-final, with captain Paul Sculthorpe their sole injury absentee.

International duo Vinnie Anderson and Nick Fozzard, who were also left out of their victorious Challenge Cup final team, are expected to miss out again.

Coach Daniel Anderson's only dilemma appears to be whether to start with Lee Gilmour or Mike Bennett in the second row.

Anderson said: "Everyone is fit and there are no issues. There are no prizes for guessing what our 17 run-on will be.

"It's still a tough choice and there is still disappointment in the squad."

Anderson added that his treble-chasing team are raring to go after sitting out two of the last three weekends.

"They're finely-tuned athletes who enjoy confrontation - that's our sport - so when there is no confrontation, they do get wound up," he said.

"But it's been a very long year. We haven't had any real time off. The two weeks we've had off in the play-off series have been a blessing for us because it's our 35th game this week."

Hull coach Peter Sharp said: "We've a few bumps and bruises but we should be OK.

"Graeme Horne has a little bit of an ankle injury but we think he should be OK.

"Richard Horne had a bit of a sharp pain in his Achilles and he had to come off and it was a bit worrying for a while, but he seems to be fine."

Utility back Richard Whiting, who was on the bench for Hull's qualifying semi-final defeat at St Helens, is the likely replacement if Horne fails to recover.

Saturday's game is expected to be a 73,000 sell-out, with Old Trafford's increased capacity already ensuring a record attendance for a Grand Final.

For St Helens Vinnie Anderson and Ian Hardman have been left out of the final 18-man squad, while for Hull youngsters Matty Dale and Tommy Lee are the players that drop out for the season's final game.

St Helens v Hull - Super League Grand Final
Saturday, 14 October 2006
Old Trafford, Manchester
Kick-off: 1800 BST

St Helens 18-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Roby, Bennett, Hooper, P. Anderson, Graham, Fa'asavalu.

Hull FC 18-man squad: Briscoe, Carvell, Chester, Cooke, Domic, Dowes, G. Horne, R. Horne, King, McMenemy, Radford, Raynor, Swain, Tony, Washbrook, Wheeldon, Whiting, Yeaman.

Referee: Karl Kirkpatrick