LEEDS' prized import ex-Wests Tigers captain Mark O'Neill is set to sit out the first two months of the 2006 season due to shoulder surgery.He had initially only been ruled out of the English heavyweight's Super League opener on February 12 but will now be sidelined until April. O'Neill, 30, lasted only five minutes on the field before injuring his shoulder on Leeds debut in a Boxing Day friendly against Wakefield.
WIGAN?S new signing Bryan Fletcher will miss the start of the season after undergoing emergency bowel surgery.The Australian second row is now recuperating at Wigan Royal Infirmary, where he is being monitored daily.The club report the surgery was successful but the 31-year-old will be sidelined for ?some considerable time?.Chairman Maurice Lindsay said: ?This is dreadful news particularly for Bryan and his family.?It was not connected with football in anyway it was an internal problem and we are grateful to the Wigan Royal Infirmary and our own club medic, Doctor Zaman, who dealt with the matter on an emergency basis.?Our only concern is that Bryan recovers as quickly as possible. I'm sure that everyone at the club and all the Wigan fans will wish him well.?The club have also received further bad news regarding injuries to key players Gareth Hock and Kris Radlinski.Second row Hock, who played just three games last season due to a knee injury, has sustained a stress fracture to his other leg and faces a further lengthy lay-off.Radlinski has suffered a setback in his recovery from the knee injury that wiped out the second half of his 2005 season and required surgery.Head coach Ian Millward said: ?It's bad luck for Gareth as it's not even the leg he underwent surgery on last year. It is his good leg and we will have to rest him for some considerable time.?To lose our key back rowers before we kick off is obviously disappointing but we are still approaching the season positively and we have several players competing for all the positions within the side.?Kris meanwhile, is making a good recovery but we will not play him until we're confident he's fine.?Fletcher had just joined Wigan on a two-year contract from South Sydney.Only last year Wigan were forced to terminate the contract of another new signing due to injury.Prop Luke Davico, who joined the club from Canberra, suffered a pectoral injury in a friendly against Salford and did not play a competitive game for the Warriors.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
THE NRL's pending decision on the expansion to sixteen teams has raised discussion with regards to the merits of each competing region, as well as raising the possibility of relocating an existing team. Very few can deny that this expansion is needed, but it's make-up has been at the centre of some of the more in-depth discussion. The decision is made more difficult by the fact that there are three ?franchises? vying for the one position.
YOU'D have to be living in a parallel universe if you were oblivious to the controversies surrounding the opening clash of Season 2004's State of Origin Series.
FRIDAY 25th June 2004:
THE Sydney Roosters have thrashed the Wests Tigers 56-0 at Campbelltown Stadium in a very one sided affair.
NEWCASTLE Knights captain Andrew Johns has ended the battle for his signature by announcing he has re-signed with the National Rugby League club for a further two years.
ANDREW Johns will announce he has re-signed with the Newcastle Knights and rejected an offer from rugby union.
"SYDNEY Airport Jets half-back maestro Craig Field has certainly been doing a colossal job for the Newtown RLFC since he joined this club midway through the 2003 season.
Not only has he been an extremely valuable player on the field and a tremendous asset to Head Coach Colin Murphy in mentoring and developing his younger team-mates, Craig has also been doing terrific work off the field in pursuing and procuring sponsors for Newtown, and helping to build our club?s profile and reputation within the broader inner western Sydney community.
PLENTY of good tickets are still available for the first Harvey Norman - Fuji Film State of Origin clash at Telstra Stadium tonight (Wednesday May 26). Whilst a big crowd is expected with over 65,000 tickets already being pre-sold, there are still plenty available from both Ticketek and at the Stadium.
MELBOURNE Storm will go into Saturday night?s match against the Newcastle Knights without centre Ben MacDougall, who will miss the next two matches after taking an early guilty plea to a grade one dropping knees charge today.
CRONULLA Sharks coach Stuart Raper has named his team to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Toyota Park on Saturday.
Coach Rapers team is;
THE St.George Bank Dragons welcome the return of Lance Thompson and their Origin players for the round 12 clash against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett has named a full-strength line-up for Friday night?s clash with St George-Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium, but is will re-assess his final 17 after the opening State of Origin clash on Wednesday night.
PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith has named his side to take on the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The injury ravaged Eels will be up against it on Sunday with the Tigers confidence high after defeating the Bulldogs last weekend.
Coach Smiths team is;