ENGLAND Rugby League have named a 20-man train-on squad to begin preparations for this autumn?s 2006 Federation Shield tournament.
NORTH Queensland prop Mitchell Sargent has reportedly been sacked from the NRL club after returning a positive test to cocaine.Sargent returned a positive in-house test to the recreational drug earlier this month, according to News Limited. The Country Origin prop's future remains unclear, with the NRL expected to impose the mandatory two-year ban on Sargent.The 27-year-old's positive drug test is the latest drama to engulf the Cowboys, who earlier this year denied a sex scandal and the club and will miss this year's playoffs after contesting last year's grand final.Sargent is the first NRL player since?s Manly?s Andrew Walker in 2004 to test positive to a recreational drug.
THE true value of loyalty
DRAGONS Supporters, After last weeks annihilation of the reigning premiers at Oki Jubilee, this week the Dragons take on local rivals the Sharks in a Saturday night derby at WIN stadium. Using Ben Hornby closer to the ruck and demonstrating more patience with the ball were both critical factors in the win. Clearly we are back in the race. The MBDS were invited to the Melbourne-based West Tigers Fanatics group's screening at the Rising Sun Hotel at Richmond last Sunday . A great afternoon was had by all. Plenty of light hearted banter was flying between both groups, and the Tigers fans certainly felt confident right up until kick off when they realised who they were actually up against and that it was all in vain. Watching the game with another opposing local supporters group added that extra spark to the day and we look forward to the next clash with the Tigers. This week?s screening is at the Grosvenor Hotel on Saturday night against the Sharks. With 2 rounds to go this is another crucial match to boost our run to the semi finals. Get along to the Grosvenor to show your support for the Dragons, and why not enjoy a meal in the restaurant before the game as many of us did last time. See you there! WHAT: Dragons v Sharks WHERE: Grosvenor Hotel, 10 Brighton Road East St Kilda WHEN: Saturday 26th August, 7:30pm LIVE. GO THE DRAGONS!
HUDDERSFIELD Giants have announced their 20-man squad ahead of Saturday?s Powergen Challenge Cup final against St Helens at Twickenham.
ST Helens have announced their 20-man squad ahead of Saturday?s Powergen Challenge Cup final against Huddersfield Giants at Twickenham.Coach Daniel Anderson has a clean bill of health, with Australian loose forward Jason Hooper shaking off a leg injury.Anderson has finalised his line-up but will not announce it until nearer kick-off time.Super League Man of Steel Jamie Lyon is gearing himself up for his first Challenge Cup final, anxious to discover what all the fuss is about.Saints' 24-year-old Australian centre has played in Test matches and an NRL Grand Final but he is still coming to terms with mid-season knockout football and will savour the climax to British rugby league?s most prestigious event on Saturday.?A lot of older people in Australia talk of it, but - to tell you the truth - I didn?t know too much about it,? he said.?But as soon as I came over, there was a lot of talk about the 2004 win over Wigan and it was a big disappointment last year when we played so well up until the semis and Hull blew us away.?I?ve never been to Twickenham but I?ve heard quite a bit about it. I?ve got a mate working at Wembley and he said earlier in the year that it wouldn?t be ready so it didn?t come as that big of a shock.?Wembley is a big name, especially to Australians, so it?s a big disappointment that the final is not there, but Twickenham won?t be bad. I?m looking forward to it.?St Helens, who have lifted the trophy four times in the last 10 years, are favourites to complete the league and cup double but the former Parramatta favourite, who is returning to Australia at the end of the season, is taking little notice of the bookmakers? odds.?It would be nice to do the double,? he said. ?It would be a hell of a way to go out. But we?re not looking too far ahead.?We?ve got the Challenge Cup this week and we have a few games of Super League to go after that.?And in big games anything can happen. We were big favourites against Newcastle in 2001 when we got rolled so I don?t think it means too much. You have got to put that stuff to the back of your mind.?It is 44 years since Huddersfield?s last cup final appearance but their impressive semi-final win over Leeds Rhinos will serve to guard Saints against any complacency.Lyon is acutely aware of the potential match-winners in the Giants side, having played both with and against two of his fellow countrymen.He is a former room-mate of former New South Wales centre Michael de Vere, who like Lyon wore the number four jersey for the Kangaroos, and played alongside hooker Brad Drew for his old club Parramatta.?I think Brad Drew is probably their most dangerous player,? said Lyon. ?I played with him at Parramatta in 2001 when he got dummy-half of the year so I know what he?s capable of. He?s a good mate of mine.?And I actually roomed with Mick de Vere in State of Origin so I know him quite well. He?s a class player and we?ll definitely have to watch him.?He?s very under-rated. You forget he?s there because he never makes a mistake and he?s always there or thereabouts in support. We?re going to have to be on on our toes up against that left-hand side.?I think that?s their most dangerous side. But they have got a good team across the park, they have been playing pretty well as a team. There has been talk of injuries but we?re pretty sure they will all be playing.?Huddersfield Giants v St Helens, Twickenham, 26 August 2006St Helens 20-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Cayless, Cunningham, Fozzard, Gilmour, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Roby, Hooper, P Anderson, V Anderson, Graham, Hardman, Fa?asavalu.Referee: R SilverwoodSource: superleague.co.uk
MANLY captain Ben Kennedy admits he doesn't know when he'll be able to return from a quadriceps injury which has even the NRL club's medical staff stumped.
THE Bulldogs will be without representative stars Roy Asotasi, Willie Mason and Willie Tonga for this weekend?s Friday night blockbuster with the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval. Chris Armit moves from the bench to the front rower with Nate Myles going in to the backrow, who was under an injury cloud for this match after their loss to the Broncos on Friday.
THE Maltese Rugby League Association (MRLA) have cancelled their proposed tour to Papua New Guinea for financial reasons, now channelling their energy towards a rugby league international in Sydney on October 8.
LONDON will become the capital of rugby league thanks to a feast of events taking place around Saturday?s Powergen Challenge Cup final between Huddersfield Giants and St Helens at Twickenham.
DUAL premiership winner Brent McConnell will return from NRL duty, while Mark Shipway will play at centre in Sunday?s Wizard Cup qualifying final between North Queensland and Redcliffe at the Townsville Sports Reserve.In the only major change ahead of the first week of finals, halfback McConnell returns to the Young Guns, pushing teenager Brady Payne into jersey 18 on an extended five-man bench.Combatants Redcliffe have turned back the clock and named Shipway in the three-quarter line, the same position he played in the 1996 State League grand final for the Dolphins.A former Cowboys first grader, Shipway helps cover for the loss of Nick Emmett (injury) and Kaine Manihera (suspension).Dolphins five-eighth Chris Fox is free to play in the match at 3.30pm Sunday after beating a contrary conduct charge from Round 21.In Saturday?s 2pm elimination final at the Piggabeen Complex, Tweed Heads and Easts have stuck solid with the men that have taken them this far, making no changes for the do-or-die clash.Tweed mentor Steve Murphy?s recently revealed this would be his last season at the Seagulls before joining the Gold Coast Titans as an assistant coach.Centre Mark McKenzie of Easts has been cleared of a striking charge after being placed on report in the 71st minute of last weekend?s game against Central.In lower grades, Easts has named 200-game Wizard Cup veteran Brett McPherson at five-eighth for the FOGS Cup A Grade qualifying match against Burleigh, also to be held at the Piggabeen Complex.Sydney Roosters signing David Hala will play prop for Redcliffe against the Tigers in the FOGS Colts game at 10.30am.On Sunday at BMD Kougari Oval, Aspley?s colts will field a host of players who have featured for Wizard Cup minor premier Toowoomba ? including Jacob Fauid, Charlie Fetoai and Brynjar Ragnarsson. The Devils play Wynnum Manly colts at 1.15pm.In the proceeding FOGS Cup A Grade match ?Rockin? Ronny Troutman may play his last game at old stomping ground Kougari when he turns out for the Souths Logan Magpies.The Magpies team, featuring USA Tomahawks prop Ashley Lanfranchi, has a tough task against a well-credentialed Wynnum Manly side boastinging ex-Queensland Resident Matt Ross, Queensland Rangers sensation Jim Baira and former NRL player Daniel Sorbello. That match kicks off at 3pm.North Queensland v RedcliffeVenue: Townsville Sports ReserveDate: Sun 27 Aug 2006Game Time: 3:30pmReferee: Michael WISE Touch Judges: Chris NITSO/Peter WORTH Interchange Official: Josh KERSEVANINorth Qld Young Guns Players: 1. Jason BARSLEY 2. Brenton BOWEN 3. Josh HANNAY 4. Jamie FRIZZO 5. Obe GEIA 6. Shane MUSPRATT 7. Brent McCONNELL13. Leigh COGHILL12. Scott BOLTON11. Mark DALLE CORT10. Sam FAUST 9. Kam WILKINSON 8. Daniel STRICKLAND (c)Interchange: 14. Dean PAYNE15. Ben LOWE16. James ANDERSEN17. Greg BYRNESCoach: Mick CRAWLEY Redcliffe Dolphins Players: 1. Ryan CULLEN 2. Chris GIUMELLI 3. Greg BOURKE 4. Mark SHIPWAY 5. Rory BROMLEY 6. Chris FOX 7. Marty TURNER13. Gerard PARLE12. Danny BURKE11. Grant FLUGGE10. Adam STARR 9. Michael ROBERTS 8. Troy LINDSAY (c)Interchange: 14. Nick WALKER15. Shannon FISH16. Danny GREEN17. Pat GARDNERCoach: Anthony GRIFFIN Tweed Heads v EastsVenue: Piggabeen ComplexDate: Sat 26 Aug 2006Game Time: 2:00pmReferee: Brett SUTTORTouch Judges: Damian BREEN/Rod SPAIN Interchange Official: Chris BUTLERVideo Referee: Tony MAKSOUDTweed HeadsPlayers: 1. Ryan MILLIGAN 2. Nathanael BARNES 3. James WOOD 4. Josh VAUGHAN 5. Ryan O'CONNELL 6. Brad DAVIS 7. Paul ROLLS13. Matt POW12. Andrew MORONEY (c)11. Tom PRICHARD10. Roy FRIEND 9. Matt KING 8. Matt AUSTINInterchange: 14. Cory BOND15. Selasi BERDIE16. Dean ALLEN17. Josh PEACOCKCoach: Steve MURPHY Easts Tigers Players: 1. Kevin STEPHENSEN 2. John TAMANIKA 3. David GEORGIOU 4. Mark McKENZIE 5. David TYRRELL 6. Matt LOCKYER (c) 7. Luke BRANIGHAN13. Scott SIPPLE12. Marty ALLEN11. Mark CANTONI10. Trevor EXTON 9. Steve GOODHEW 8. Steele RETCHLESSInterchange: 14. Cameron DURNFORD15. Damian DURNFORD16. Jamie TOMLINSON17. Scott YOUNGCoach: Michael BOOTH
THE Newtown Rugby League Football Club will be holding its annual players, officials and supporters reunion at Henson Park on Saturday, September 2, 2006.This is the club's last home competition game for the 2006 season, when the Newtown Jets play the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in the NSWRL VB Premier League competition starting at 3.00pm. This is a great opportunity for all former Newtown grade and junior players, administrators and supporters to rendezvous at Henson Park to meet up with all their old friends who have helped build the traditions of Australia's oldest Rugby League club. Following the match, everybody can adjourn back to the Jets Sports Club in Holbeach Avenue, Tempe. Tell all your old team-mates and other Newtown friends and supporters to meet up at Henson Park for what is always a terrific day. All the members of the 1966 Newtown first grade semi-finalist team and the 1996 Newtown Metropolitan Cup first grade premiership-winning team will be special guests of honour for the day.For all inquiries, ring the Newtown RLFC office on 1300 363 690, or email the club at: [email protected] official Newtown RLFC website is at: www.newtownjets.com
PARRAMATTA'S front-row crisis has worsened with skipper Nathan Cayless likely to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.
SUPERLEAGUE media (UK) reports that have Hull FC have agreed to release Nathan 'Tingha' Blacklock from his contract with immediate effect.The former St George and Australian winger has been plagued by a knee injury this season and will now retire from the game and return home to Australia.In the Superleague press release, Blacklock said: "I?m disappointed I?ve had to call it a day, but I simply can?t give the 100 per cent I want to anymore because of injuries. I can?t put my heart and soul into playing.""Everyone at the club, from the coaching staff to the players and the office staff, have been great to me and I wish the team all the best for the play-offs and the future."There are some good young players who deserve a chance. They will have more enthusiasm for the game than I can offer now."The 30-year-old product from Tingha arrived at the KC Stadium from the St George Illawarra Dragons last season. He quickly became a fans? favourite, scoring 16 tries in 24 Super League appearances to finish as the club?s leading try-scorer.In 2006, he has crossed for 13 tries in 21 games, frequently playing injured.Hull FC's Peter Sharp added: "Tingha has enjoyed a marvellous career. He has achieved some things in rugby league that most people can only dream about."He has contributed an awful lot to this club over the last two years and we wish him all the best in the future."Hailing from Tingha, New South Wales, Nathan Blacklock came to the Dragons in 1997 after making just five appearances (and scoring one try) with the Roosters in 1995. He then linked up with St George and went onto become the competition's top try scorer for three consecutive years in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He is the only player to score 20 tries or more for four seasons in a row.A crowd favourite and match winner, Blacklock often left his wing to attack the centre of the ruck. During the 1999 grand final, 'Tingha' gave fans one of many memorable moments when he accelerated onto a chip kick, scooped up the ball, and raced through a gap to score under posts 60 metres downfield.During an outstanding season in 2001, Blacklock was controversially overlooked for NSW selection. In the same year he was selected for Australia, playing in two Tests and scoring two tries.Following a short stint with the NSW Waratahs in rugby union, Blacklock made his return to the Dragons in 2003, where he was again the club's top try scorer in first grade.At 28, Blacklock left Australia after signing a two year contract with UK club Hull, beginning in 2005.A hugely popular player, Blacklock departed Australian club rugby league with first grade career total of 121 tries from 142 games.TINGHA FACT FILEBorn 4 April 1976. First club, Tingha Tigers. 1995: First Grade debut: Sydney City v Norths at SFS, July 8, 1995 (Rd 15). Roosters1995-1996: 5 games1 tryDragons1997-2004: 137 games120 tries, 14 goals. 508 points.The Competition's top try scorer: 1999, 2000, 2001.Club's top try scorer (first grade): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003.Club's top point scorer (first grade): 2000.Hull2005-2006: 45 games 29 triesAustralian Kangaroos2001: 2 Tests2 triesCAREER FIRST CLASS TRY SCORING TOTAL189 games: 1995-2006152 tries
A one-on-one meeting with Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens this week will determine whether wayward star Chris Walker has a future at the NRL club.