ST George Illawarra Dragons coach Nathan Brown has named back rower Danny Wicks to make his NRL debut for the Club against the Warriors at WIN Stadium this Saturday night.Wicks, 20, played in the Club?s 2005 Premiership winning Jersey Flegg team and is the sixth rookie Dragon from that side to play NRL this year. The round 10 Dragons will include five players from the same Jersey Flegg side.Michael Henderson will start in the front row in the place of the injured Ashton Sims.Centre Mark Gasnier has been named despite suffering a hip injury in last weekend's Dragons v Sharks clash.Unavailable Dragons are: Luke Bailey (Suspension), Jason Ryles (Hand), Sam Isemonger (Knee), Mathew Head (Knee), Wes Naiqama (Ankle), Andrew Price (Quad), Corey Payne (Eye Socket), Ashton Sims (Wrist).New Zealand Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has made changes to his line-up with former Roosters premier league halfback Grant Rovelli being promoted to start in the No. 7 jersey. Regular half back Nathan Fien will switch to hooker where he played for 11 of his 22 matches last season. Simon Mannering, who debuted this year, will start in the centres while Sione Faumuina will start at lock.Regular hooker George Gatis and Kiwi test centre Clinton Toopi will move to the bench while international Louis Anderson is being rested this week. NRL TeamsSt George Illawarra Dragons v New Zealand Warriors5.30pm Saturday 13 May 2006WIN Stadium, WollongongDRAGONSCoach: Nathan Brown 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS2. Colin BEST3. Mark GASNIER4. Matt COOPER5. Brett MORRIS6. Trent BARRETT (c)7. Ben HORNBY8. Justin POORE9. Aaron GORRELL10. Michael HENDERSON11. Ben CREAGH12. Dean YOUNG13. Shaun TIMMINS14. Danny WICKS15. Matt BICKERSTAFF16. Charlie LEAENO17. George NDAIRA18. Lee TE MAARI(One to be omitted)WARRIORS1. BRENT WEBB 2. TODD BYRNE 3. TONY MARTIN 4. SIMON MANNERING 5. MISI TAULAPAPA 6. JEROME ROPATI 7. GRANT ROVELLI 8. RUBEN WIKI (V-C) 9. NATHAN FIEN 10. STEVE PRICE (C) 11. AWEN GUTTENBEIL 12. WAIRANGI KOOPU 13. SIONE FAUMUINA 14. GEORGE GATIS 15. EVARN TUIMAVAVE 16. CLINTON TOOPI 17. MICHEAL LUCK 20. MANU VATUVEI (one to be omitted)
SUSPENDED Melbourne second rower Michael Crocker claims he has been victimised by the NRL judiciary because he is a Queensland Origin contender.
CRONULLA five-eighth Adam Dykes will miss up to three months of rugby league with a ruptured ankle ligament. Dykes will require surgery later this week after he injured his ankle in the closing stages of the Sharks' NRL victory over St George Illawarra on Sunday and he won't be able to play for up to 12 weeks.
THE Cronulla Sharks have named their side to play the Canberra Raiders in Canberra this weekend with Adam Dykes not consdiered for selection due to an ankle injury.
MITSUBISHI Electric Bulldogs team to meet the Eels this Sunday contains two changes from the team that defeated the Roosters last week.
THE Parramatta Eels have named a strong side to face the Bulldogs this weekend as they try and breathe life into their ailing premiership campaign.
LIKE fish in a barrel
ENGLISH referee Russell Smith has been dropped from NRL first grade following his controversial performance in the match between Manly and Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
QUEENSLAND back rower Michael Crocker will miss the entire State of Origin series after accepting a nine match suspension from the NRL judiciary.
SYDNEY Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello will undergo surgery on his injured back today which is likely to rule him out of the the entire State of Origin series.
MELBOURNE has until 2pm today to make a decision on whether it will contest Michael Crocker's dangerous throw charge after being granted an extension by the NRL.The Storm originally had until midday to make a decision on an early plea after Crocker was charged with a grade-four dangerous throw for his tackle on South Sydney's Shane Rigon on Saturday night.An early guilty plea would see the Queensland Origin aspirant rubbed out for nine weeks, while an unsuccessful trip to the judiciary would result in a 12-week suspension. Either ban would rule Crocker out of this year's State of Origin series.Crocker's hopes of playing for Queensland in this year's State of Origin series are at stake but the former Sydney Roosters forward has a poor record at the NRL judiciary, with six charges in the last five years, including a lifting charge last season.
MANLY coach Des Hasler will not be punished by the NRL for comments he made about referee Russell Smith after the Sea Eagles' 24-18 loss to Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
ENGLISH Super League club St Helens says it has not been contacted by New South Wales officials about the possible selection of Jamie Lyon for the State of Origin series.
I?VE seen some embarrassing refereeing performances in my years following the game, but I?m not sure that too many can compare with the dilapidated efforts which British referee Russell Smith displayed at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
WARRINGTON Wolves continued their charge up the engage Super League table as they recorded their fourth straight win by defeating Catalans Dragons 44-16 in the south of France.