Preview of tonight's Challenge Cup... LeagueUnlimited.com - NRL & Rugby League A View From The Hill ...
29 hours ago
Lions coach Brian Noble will finalise his 17-man squad an hour before kick-off but is expected to recall Paul Sculthorpe and Jamie Peacock. But scrum-half Sean Long could miss out after Danny McGuire and Iestyn Harris impressed at half-back in last week's win over New Zealand.
Despite an impressive season that has seen him pick up no less than four major personal awards, Great Britain skipper Andrew Farrell knows that individual talent alone will not be enough to win Saturday?s eagerly-awaited Gillette Tri-Nations Final
As he unveiled his initial 19-man squad at the team?s final media conference of the week, GB boss Brian Noble explained how he felt the Lions were now fully prepared for the challenge from Australia in the climax to the seven week tournament.
"The team are confident without being over-confident. I think they are two very evenly-matched teams and the game can go either way.
"We are not intimidated by the challenge but we are ready to finish off what has been a terrific tournament for us."
Lions Captain Andrew Farrell shares his coach?s view that the GB team are ready to play in the game which will be watched by a 40,000 sell out crowd.
But the skipper is also stressing that the teamhave no doubts what they want to achieve from their appearance in the Elland Road cauldron.
"You?re not an outstanding side and won?t go down in history unless you win something"; he said.
Australia are boosted by the return of skipper Darren Lockyer, who replaces Scott Hill at stand-off.
Craig Fitzgibbon has been dropped to the bench for Saturday's Gillette Tri-Nations Series final at Elland Road. The goalkicking second rower missed two of the four group matches through injury and was disappointing in the 24-12 defeat by Great Britain.
Canterbury's Andrew Ryan takes over while fit-again skipper Darren Lockyer replaces Scott Hill at stand-off.
Centre Brent Tate and veteran back rower Ben Kennedy have been left out of coach Wayne Bennett's 17-man squad.
The Kangaroos have dominated the international game for the last 30 years but Lions skipper Andrew Farrell believes his side can end their reign.
"Confidence is sky high at the moment and the general feeling in the camp is that we're ready to go, we're ready to perform," he said.
"We've done very well to win three games on the bounce - that's not been done for 10 years - but there is no getting away from the fact that we're here to win the final.
"We've put ourselves in with a good chance of being able to do that and I suppose we'll be judged on the final."
The Kangaroos remain favourites to maintain their stranglehold but Farrell's men overcame a crucial psychological barrier by beating the world champions a fortnight ago.
"I definitely don't think we've peaked yet," said Farrell. "That's not to say we'll peak at the final. Nobody knows what will happen.
"We don't know how Australia are going to perform. They're going to be right up there, that's for definite." -----------------
Great Britain: P Wellens (St Helens), B Carney (Wigan), P Johnson (Bradford), S Reardon (Bradford), K Senior (Leeds), M Gleeson (Warrington), I Harris (Bradford), D McGuire (Leeds), S Long (St Helens), M Higham (St Helens), T Newton (Wigan), R Bailey (Leeds), A Morley (Sydney City), S Fielden (Bradford), A Farrell (Wigan, capt), G Ellis (Wakefield), J Peacock (Bradford), S O'Loughlin (Wigan), P Sculthorpe (St Helens).
Australia: A Minichiello (Sydney Roosters); L Rooney (Penrith), S Berrigan, (Brisbane), W Tonga (Canterbury), M Sing (North Queensland); D Lockyer, (Brisbane, capt), B Kimmorley (Cronulla); S Webcke (Brisbane), D Buderus, (Newcastle), P Civoniceva (Brisbane), N Hindmarsh (Parramatta), A Ryan, (Canterbury), T Carroll (Brisbane). Replacements: M O'Meley (Canterbury), C Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), W Mason (Canterbury), C Wing (Sydney Roosters).