FOUNDATION and stand alone club North Sydney have attracted record numbers to their annual open trials in preparation for the 2006 season. In a strong indication of the future of league on the North Shore over 2 thirds of the 470 registrations were for the junior grades. "Very happy with the quality. There were some big units out there that performed well in the conditions" said S. G. Ball coach Michael Pobjie. While Jersey Flegg Coach Steve Carter had similar thoughts "Yes very happy, lots of talent to choose from".Very warm midday weather made it a hard day at the office for many players but General Manager Greg Florimo's debriefing after each game gave an indication of his appreciation, "Good effort out there today, It's very hot, summer conditions and it's off season so your fitness is probably down, but you performed very well today".Overwhelmed by the turn up the club will now conduct further invited trials next Sunday for both the S. G. Ball and Jersey Flegg teams, while selected Harold Matthews players will be invited for further training before a final trial in November. For details of times locations and invited players please go to the 2006 trials information page of the Bears website http://www.northsydneybears.com.au/Information/Registration.htm
MELBOURNE Storm mentor Craig Bellamy has been reappointed to coach the Country Origin team next season for the annual rugby league clash against City.
MAL Meninga has been appointed to coach Queensland in next year's State of Origin rugby league series.
ALL tickets for the 2005 engage Super League Grand Final have sold out.
CASTLEFORD coach Dave Woods might have to wait until the end of the month to discover if he has a future with the newly-promoted Tigers in engage Super League.
LEEDS Rhinos have today reminded fans that, in the event of a Rhinos win at Old Trafford, there will be Homecoming at Headingley this Sunday from 12 noon. And Bradford Bulls will get a heroes? welcome from their home city if they win the engage Super League Grand Final this Saturday.
WAYNE Bennett,Australian's longest serving and most successful coach has opened up debate about his long term future by sacking his high profile assistants.
SCOTLAND are set to hand debuts to at least five players in tomorrow?s European Nations Cup tie against Wales at Bridgend. The fifth will become the 100th player to represent Scotland since senior rugby league internationals began in 1995. Gateshead full-back Wade Liddell, wingers Jon Steel of Hull KR and Dougie Flockhart from Dumfries, Halifax hooker Ben Fisher and St Albans Centurions forward Nick Surtees are all expected to be in the 17 and with the uncapped forwards Dave Simm (Edinburgh Eagles and Wigan St Judes) and Steve Deviney (Easterhouse Panthers) also vying for a place on the bench, new faces abound.
WALES are going into Sunday?s crucial Rugby League European Nations Cup opening match against Scotland at the Brewery Field, Bridgend (kick-off 3pm) in a confident mood writes Ian Golden.
THE first instalment of this year?s Tri-Nations contest gets underway tomorrow night under lights at Telstra Stadium, where bitter Trans-Tasman rivalry is reignited on the rugby league arena.
KIWI coach Brian McClennan returned fire on claims his debutant wingers would be easy targets in Saturday night's Tri-Nations opener, suggesting Australia's flankers were a weakness for his side to exploit.
TAWERA Nikau and Richie Barnett have no problems with the trend toward Australian-born players donning the black and white jersey.
THE following players have been named in the New Zealand A side to play the Australian Invitational side.
THE 2nd game in the test series between the NZ Maori side and the Cook Islands was played this afternoon in Gisborne resulting in a win to NZ Maoris after the first game last weekend resulted in a 26 all draw.
POPULAR prop Barrie McDermott, axed for this year's Challenge Cup final, will get the chance to make up for the disappointment by bringing the curtain down on his colourful domestic career in Saturday's engage Super League Grand Final.