ANDREW Johns got the backing of Australia coach Wayne Bennett to take up his short-term stint in England, the player revealed on Wednesday.
THE forthcoming August Bank Holiday weekend will be a milestone for Rugby League in the principality, as on Saturday August 27th, the magnificent Millennium Stadium will, at least for the foreseeable future, host its last Rugby League Challenge Cup Final when Hull FC face Leeds Rhinos.
ANOTHER huge round of NRL action has put forth a team bursting with talent. There?s speed, there?s skill, there?s grunt and you need to look no further than the Round 22 League Unlimited Team of the Week to find the most complete outfit running around right now.
FIVE players have been charged following round 22 of the NRL with the injury ravaged Bulldogs being hit twice.
CANBERRA Raiders halfback Lincoln Withers and winger David Howell will be the familiar faces in not so familiar jumpers this Saturday night.
THE St George Illawarra Dragons will be looking to make it two successful visits to Queensland in a row when they take on competition leaders Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday.
SYDNEY Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has named his team to play the Sharks at Aussie Stadium on Saturday evening.
Coach Stuarts team is;
THE Broncos today received a vital boost ahead of this Sunday?s blockbuster against high-flying St.George-Illawarra with a trio of their Test stars set to do battle despite sitting under injury clouds.
WESTS Tigers Head Coach, Tim Sheens has announced his squad for the Wests Tigers v Cowboys Game at Campbelltown Stadium, kick off at 2.30pm.
NORTH Queensland Cowboys coach Graham Murray has named his team to play the Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Coach Murrays team is;
VICE-CAPTAIN Monty Betham makes his 100th NRL appearance but hooker Lance Hohaia will be missing from the Vodafone Warriors? line-up for Saturday night?s NRL match against the Storm at Melbourne?s Olympic Park.
While the 27-year-old Betham will become the 10th player to reach a century of first-grade matches for the Vodafone Warriors, it was confirmed today Hohaia (22) will be sidelined for four weeks with knee trouble.
Head coach Tony Kemp is thrilled Betham will at last achieve a key personal milestone after so many injury setbacks but he is also disappointed for Hohaia.
?Since making his NRL debut in 1999, Monty?s had two knee reconstructions, a broken ankle and a broken arm but it?s a credit to him that he?s come back each time,? said Kemp. ?Playing 100 matches in this competition is a significant achievement but few have deserved it more than Monty. He has worked really hard for this and it?s great for him that he?ll finally reach the mark on Saturday night.
?At the same time, it?s disappointing that Lance has been hit by injury. He has come on really well at hooker for us, especially since we?ve been using him off the bench.
?He had a knock on his knee against Parramatta which we were hoping wasn?t too serious but there?s cartilage trouble and he?ll be out for a month.?
Centre Jerome Ropati will also be missing against the Storm after playing all 21 matches this year.
?He needs to rest a leg injury but he should be right for selection for our last home match of the season against Newcastle,? said Kemp.
While losing Hohaia and Ropati, the Vodafone Warriors welcome back wingers Francis Meli and 19-year-old Manu Vatuvei. Meli returns on the right wing from a one-week break; Vatuvei, one of five players named on the bench, is in line to make his first appearance in more than a month after being troubled by injury and a viral infection.
With Ropati out, Kemp has moved the versatile Sione Faumuina to right centre while 18-year-old Simon Mannering, a starter on the right wing last weekend, has been shifted to left centre in place of Clinton Toopi who goes to the bench.
?We?ve been desperate to win for weeks but it now comes down to what is an absolute must-win match in Melbourne,? said Kemp.
?We?ve looked at the side closely after our last two matches against Penrith and Parramatta and believe Simon?s enthusiasm will benefit us on the left side while Clinton will give us impact from the bench.?
NEWCASTLE Knights coach Michael Hagan has named his team to play the Sea Eagles at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Hagans team is;
THE Bulldogs club have been thrown further into disarray following the news that halfback Brent Sherwin was operated on last night for a broken hand.
THE Real Rabbitohs are pleased to announce its team to play the Canberra Raiders in Round 23 of the 2005 Telstra Premiership this Saturday, August 13, kicking off at 7:30pm at Canberra Stadium.
PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith has named his team to take on the Bulldogs at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night.
Coach Smiths team is;