The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Also in this weeks Bulls Eye, coach Brian Noble and captain Jamie Peacock look ahead to Sunday's Super League Round 23 game at Odsal when Widnes Vikings return to Bradford to face the Bulls for the second time in six rounds, looking to make it five points from six this season - - - - - VOLCANO READY TO ERUPT AFTER LENGTHY ABSENCE
Vainikolo has been absent from the Bulls line-up for 10 weeks now due to a knee injury but the big Tongan winger is raring to go.
?Its been really hard watching from the sidelines over the past 10 weeks. The boys have been putting in some really good displays and I hope I can bring an extra dimension to our play on Sunday.?
Vainikolo added, ?I just cant wait to put the jersey on again and feel a part of it-its been a while-especially after last season when I beat the record. I had every intention to come out this season and score as many, if not more, but unfortunately the injury has kept me on the sidelines.?
He concluded, ?I just want to score as many as I can for the team, and, like the rest of the boys, build up the momentum over the last couple of games before the play-offs start. We are a big club and we believe we should be there at Old Trafford in October.?
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YOU WERE PLEASED WITH THE DEFENSIVE EFFORT AGAINST SALFORD. WILL YOU BE LOOKING FOR MORE OF THE SAME THIS WEEK? BRIAN NOBLE: Definitely. I was really pleased with the way we worked hard to keep our line intact at the Willows and Salford scored two late tries when we were down to 12 men due to having two men in the sin bin. That is the sort of effort we will need to take into the end of the season with us and I will be looking for the same kind of consistency this week. WIDNES HAVE BEEN A BIT OF A BOGEY SIDE FOR YOU THIS SEASON? BRIAN NOBLE: They have taken three points out of four off of us this year and we need to make sure it is not five from six. They are in a desperate situation, in the relegation places but they are not without hope and they will be very tough for us again this week. They have put some good performances together and been unlucky in some games, so we know what they are capable of. Frank Endacott will have told them that they know how to take points off of us and to go out and do it again. They will believe they can get the points here and it is our job to dispel that belief early in the game. It is important that we start well and not let them settle down. They have had some adversity in the last couple of weeks with Millard and Craigie being out for the season but they still have some good players in there. Finnigan, Hughes, Myler, Whittaker and Frame all go very well for them and the Full Back, Holmes has been playing well. They have two good wingers in Emelio and Viane, who both know the way to the line and Jools ONeil is a very good player who makes them tick. When you add Cassidy and OConnor then its easy to see that they can be a very dangerous side. - - - - -
THIS WEEKS GAME IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US? JAMIE PEACOCK: It is. We have had a couple of back to back wins and, as we are pushing for third or fourth spot in the table, a win this week is a must. We need to keep winning these kind of games and get some momentum going. We have won two in a row and we want to build on that. I was very pleased with the way we defended at Salford. It was a good team effort and that is what you need. It is no good if one or two are taking time off but that didnt happen at Salford and that is very pleasing. Widnes have been a bogey side for us this year. They won at their place early in the season and they dragged a point off of us a few weeks ago. They have played really well against us in both games and they fully deserved the victory in February but it is something we are wanting to put right; we want to win this game. We have people coming back to fitness now and thats good for the squad. We will have competition for places and thats good because if you dont perform then you are out. They are not just bit part players who are coming back; they are the main men of the team, so that is even more important. The fans have a big part to play for us too. We need them to keep getting behind us until the end of the season. - - - - -
SQUAD: Brian Noble has named the following 20 man squad for the game with fit again Robbie Paul, Lesley Vainikolo and Lee Radford: Deacon, Cook, Fielden, I Harris, B Harris, Withers, Johnson, Lynch, Parker, L Pryce, Peacock, Langley, K Pryce, Paul, Reardon, Vagana, Henderson, Meyers, Vainikolo, Radford MILESTONES: Paul Deacon has scored 113 goals from 145 attempts for an average of 77.93%. Iestyn Harris needs 2 points for a century for the Bulls. He has scored 18 tries and kicked 13 goals since joining the club in July 2004. Leon Pryce needs two tries for a career century of club and representative touchdowns. The utility back has scored 90 for Bradford plus eight in representative matches, including two for Great Britain. - - - - -
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