ANDREW Johns declined to weigh into the Australian test captaincy debate but he did say incumbent test skipper Darren Lockyer, had elevated his game since taking on the role.
WAYNE Williams has resigned as Cardiff Demons coach after leading the club to three trophies in two seasons writes Ian Golden. Since 2002, he has also won three home international trophies as a coach - two with the Wales A side and one with Welsh Students.
Williams is now working with the new Bridgend-based professional Rugby League club that are looking to debut in National League Two in 2006 and will also coach Wales Students in the Home Internationals at Easter and the Student World Cup in Brisbane this July.
Assistant coach, Anthony Loxton, who has been at the club for five years, will take over the reigns at the Demons for their inaugural season in the new RLC Premier League this summer. The season kicks-off on Sunday May 1, the Demons will be once again based at Taff's Well RFC and fixtures will be released next week.
LEEDS coach Tony Smith is confident Great Britain international Danny McGuire will be fit for Friday?s Carnegie World Club Challenge against Canterbury Bulldogs at Elland Road.
THE world's oldest rugby league knockout competition, the Challenge Cup, dates back to 1897. This weekend brings the first round games of the 2005 Powergen Challenge Cup, with the undoubted highlight being the derby between South London Storm and West London Sharks.
FORMER Leeds Akademiks winger Neil Ayres got his new career with London Skolars off to a flying start when he scored on his debut for the LHF National League Two side in a trial game against England Lionhearts on Sunday.
The Nottingham-born flyer has been training with the Skolars since relocating to the capital in October, following a sensational first season in rugby league with the Akademiks. He started on the wing as the Skolars defeated the Lionhearts - the representative side made up of the best players from the Rugby League Conference - 64-16 at New River Stadium.
Ironically, Ayres was overlooked by Lionhearts selectors last season, despite his prolific try-scoring record for the Akademiks. However, his try-scoring debut could have netted him a place in the Skolars' squad for this Saturday's eagerly anticipated derby fixture against his new club's Super League neighbours London Broncos.
Akademiks chairman Jez Shires commented: "It was clear Neil had huge potential when he first arrived at the club from Old Modernians RUFC last May. He has absolutely blinding pace, and is possibly the quickest player I have seen at this level, but he's also extremely tough and committed.
"It's great to see him working hard to develop his rugby league career and I'm sure he will do well."
LONDON Broncos CEO Nic Cartwright is not your average Super League administrator. And that's an understatement.
BRADFORD cast aside a string of pre-season problems to warm up for the new Super League season with a nine-try 50-30 win over Huddersfield at Odsal.
SHARKS coach Stuart Raper has named a relatively young and inexperienced team for their first trial match of 2005 against Parramatta this Saturday.
THE Bulldogs have been forced to name a depleted side to take on Leeds in the World Club Challenge match in England on Friday night.
NEWCASTLE Knights halfback Andrew Johns has tipped his understudy Kurt Gidley to crack the representative scene this year.
KOGARAH Council has approved the construction of a new entrance booth and turnstiles in English Street to Oki Jubilee Oval.
THE North Queensland Cowboys today assured itself some forward muscle until 2007 with aggressive second-rower Luke O'Donnell agreeing to extend his contract for another two seasons.
THE Warriors are seen as long shots to win the 2005 National Rugby League (NRL) although Australian bookmaker Centrebet rates them a decent chance to make the playoffs.
THE Bulldogs first trial match is against the Canberra Raiders at Express Advocate Stadium, Gosford on Sunday, February 19. The second trial match is against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Members Equity Stadium, Perth on Friday, February 25.