No changes to Broncos

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has again named Justin Hodges at fullback in an unchanged 18-man squad for Sunday's Grand Final assignment against Melbourne in Sydney.

Judiciary news

BRISBANE prop Petero Civoniceva has pleaded guilty to his grade one careless high tackle charge and been cleared to play in Sunday's NRL grand final.

Bellamy names 20-man Grand Final squad

MELBOURNE coach Craig Bellamy today named a 20-man squad for Sunday's NRL grand final against Brisbane at Telstra Stadium.

Stuart confirmed as Sharks coach

THE Cronulla Sharks club today confirmed the worst kept secret in the NRL with Ricky Stuart's appointment as its head coach for the next two seasons.

Simpkins gets whistle for Grand Final

PAUL Simpkins has been appointed to referee Sunday's Grand Final between Brisbane and Melbourne at Telstra Stadium. He'll take charge of his first grand final after being given the nod ahead of Steve Clark.Simpkins, who has refereed Test and Origin matches, describes the appointment as the pinnacle of his career.He says he's hoping for an open game on Sunday and he's confident the two teams would turn up to Telstra Stadium to play football and not test out the referee.The touch judges for the premiership decider are Rod Lawrence and Steve Carrall. The video referees are Bill Harrigan and Chris Ward. Steve Clark is the stand-by ref.

Tickets, missing trophy & fans

ONLY 2,000 tickets remain unsold for the Grand Final between Brisbane and Melbourne after tickets went on sale this morning.

QRL XXXX Statewide Score Wrap

XXXX STATEWIDE SCORE WRAPThe latest XXXX Statewide Score Wrap, including details of finals in the Arrive Alive Cup, Toowoomba RL and Kaiwalagal (Torres Strait) RL.Only one QRL regional league remains undecided, with the Gulf Community League to host a two-day carnival and final at Burketown this coming weekend.ARRIVE ALIVE CUPNational Final: Endeavour Sports High 16 (Anthony Cherrington 2, Ryan Carr tries; Chase Stanley 2 goals) d Keebra Park State High 7 (Robert Lui try; Matt Parata goal; Robert Lui field goal).WAGNER?S FIRST GRADE (Toowoomba)Grand Final: Valleys 24 (Josh Schwerin 3, Tony Gollan, Nathan Murphy tries; James Galligan, Brendan Baillie goals) d Brothers 14 (Liam Cullen 2, Darren Lucht tries; Liam Cullen goal).Reserves: Valleys 40 d Oakey 16.Under 18: Brothers 30 d Souths 28.Final Standings: Valleys 40, Brothers 36, Goondiwindi 32, Dalby 28, Wattles 27, Oakey 26, Gatton 24, Pittsworth 19, Souths 14, Warwick 14, Newtown 4. KAIWALAGAL RL (Torres Strait)Grand Final: Roosters 38 (Danny Mosby 2, Nania Nona, Kiwat Abednego, Robert Yorkston, Solly Bowie, Danny Sebasio tries; Danny Sebasio 4 goals, Elekana Nai goals) d Dragons 26 (Horace Baira, Lyle Bowie, Bill Eseli, Assan Nona, T. J. Nona tries; Guyai Nona 2, T. J. Nona goals).Final Standings: Dragons 1st, Roosters 2nd, Knights 3rd, Suburbs 4th, Horn Island Brothers 5th.GULF COMMUNITY LEAGUECarnival 5 (Including Grand Final): Burketown, September 30-October 1.Standings: Kowanyama 43, Burketown 37, Pormpuraaw 37, Doomadgee 12, Mornington Island 9.

Souths sign Australian Schoolboys halfback

SOUTH Sydney has signed Australian schoolboys halfback Luke Capewell to a two-year deal with the club.

Perry has players backing, says Webcke

TRIPLE-PREMIERSHIP winning prop Shane Webcke says late blooming Broncos halfback Shane Perry can make mugs of his critics in Sunday night's NRL grand final against Melbourne.

Storm vow to lift in Crocker's absence

MELBOURNE is adamant its pack will step up to compensate for the loss of inspirational backrower Michael Crocker in Sunday's NRL grand final against Brisbane.

Stuart to be named Sharks coach today

RICKY Stuart is expected to be confirmed as Cronulla coach today after the NRL club's board met last night.

GB Tri-Nations Squad finalised

GREAT Britain coach Brian Noble has included six uncapped players in his 25-strong squad for the Gillette Tri-Nations Series.Huddersfield Giants winger Martin Aspinwall, Hull FC prop Garreth Carvell, Wigan Warriors second rower Gareth Hock, Hull centre Kirk Yeaman and St Helens pair James Roby and Jon Wilkin are the new faces lined up to take on Australia and New Zealand.Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Peacock was named as captain for the second successive year in the absence of the injured Paul Sculthorpe but Noble has yet to name a vice captain.?It?s a really exciting 25,? said Noble. ?Consistency of performance over the season is reflected in this team.?There are some very unlucky people not to be in the 25 because we have competition for every position.?Warrington Wolves captain Lee Briers, who was widely tipped for a call-up after an inspirational season for the Wolves, is on a 10-man standby list. Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield and Bradford Bulls loose forward Jame Langley were not considered because of injury.The 25-strong Great Britain squad for the Gillette Tri-Nations Series is:Martin Aspinwall (Huddersfield Giants), Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos), Brian Carney (Newcastle Knights), Garreth Carvell (Hull FC), Gareth Ellis (Leeds Rhinos), Stuart Fielden (Wigan Warriors), Lee Gilmour (St Helens), Martin Gleeson (Warrington Wolves), James Graham (St Helens), Gareth Hock (Wigan Warriors), Richard Horne (Hull FC), Paul Johnson (Bradford Bulls), Leon Pryce (St Helens), Sean Long (St Helens), Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos), Adrian Morley (Sydney Roosters), Terry Newton (Bradford Bulls), Sean O?Loughlin (Wigan Warriors), Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos, capt), Gareth Raynor (Hull FC), James Roby (St Helens), Keith Senior (Leeds Rhinos), Paul Wellens (St Helens), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC).Standby-squad (who may return and play for England in the Federation Cup): Lee Briers (Warrington Wolves), Andy Coley (Salford City Reds), Mick Higham (Wigan Warriors), David Hodgson (Salford City Reds), Lee Radford (Hull FC), Andy Lynch (Bradford Bulls), Paul Cooke (Hull FC), Paul Wood (Warrington Wolves), Stuart Reardon (Warrington Wolves), Stepehen Wild (Huddersfield Giants).Source: superleague.co.uk

Pacific Nations WC Qualifiers

PACIFIC Island nations Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Fiji are preparing to contest a round-robin qualifying tournament for the 2008 World Cup, starting next Friday, 29th September with a double-header at Campbelltown Stadium.The action will continue five days later at Western Weekender Stadium in St Mary?s, on Wednesday, 4th October, where the teams will swap opponents as they battle to qualify for Rugby League?s main event in 2008.The final match will be played between Fiji and Cook Islands on Saturday, 7th October at CUA Stadium, while Tonga and Samoa will transfer to the United Kingdom to finish their qualifying matches against England and France in late October and early November.Friday, 29 September 2006 Campbelltown StadiumTonga v Cook Islands kickoff at 5.45pmSamoa v Fiji kickoff at 7.40pmWednesday, 4 October 2006 Western Weekender StadiumFiji v Tonga kickoff at 5.45pmSamoa v Cook Islands kickoff at 7.30pmSaturday, 7 October 2006 CUA Stadium, PenrithFiji v Cook Islands kickoff at 7pmInternational Development Officer for the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), Mr Tas Baitieri, said the tournament would showcase Pacific Island rugby league at its best.?This is the first time ever we?ve had a qualification process of this magnitude in the country,? Mr Baitieri said.?It shows that Rugby League is splitting its boundaries to new countries.?The World Cup campaign has already begun in Europe and there are only five spots left that are up for grabs, so the games are sure to be keenly contested.?Tickets are priced at $10 for adults. Children 16 and under are permitted free of charge.A three-venue ticket, available only at the opening game at Campbelltown Stadium, is priced at $20. Source: www.rlif.org

USA and Japan to do battle

THE American National Rugby League have had to revise plans for the Atlantic Cup - Rugby League World Cup Qualifying bracket originally scheduled for October 21 through October 28 between the USA, South Africa, West Indies and Japan in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With the withdrawal of the West Indies and South Africa it now means that the USA and Japan will compete for the right to move on to the final qualifying stage in England next year against the third place Pacific Nation and the third place European nation to advance to the Rugby League World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008.The match between the Tomahawks and Samurais now looks like it will be played in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 28 at a venue to be determined. Although it would appear that Jack Pearson Stadium in Glen Mills will be the likely location.The American National Rugby League will assemble a strong squad to face the Samurais in an effort to secure the right to move on to England in 2007 for the three way tournament on the road to Australia 2008. A number of new young players from the local US Rugby League competition are expected to be selected to the national squad with a considerable number of veteran internationals having retired and the national coaching staff looking for young players to move the international program forward.If the USA Tomahawks are able to beat Japan and move on to the final qualifing bracket in England the AMNRL will be able to draw on a number of experienced professionals playing in Australia and England whom qualify via birth or grandparents such as Clint Newton (Newcastle - NRL), Shane Millard (Leeds - SLE), Matt Petersen (Parramatta - NRL), David Myles (Gold Coast - NRL), Brandon Costin (Souths - QLD Cup), Steele Retchless (Easts - QLD Cup), Ashley Lanfranchi (Souths - QLD Cup), Jovan Clarke (Souths - NRL) that will certainly strengthen the Tomahawks chances of advancing to the final World Cup in 2008.More information will be announced soon about the USA v Japan International on Saturday, October 28. Source: www.rlif.org

Tonga looking forward to England

TONGAN head coach Jim Dymock is looking forward to his return to England.

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