NEWCASTLE coach Michael Hagan - who will be Wayne Bennett's assistant in this year's State of Origin series - has questioned NSW's decision to select a preliminary squad so far away from the opening game on June 11.
THE preliminary 25-member NSW squad for the rugby league State of Origin series beginning June 11 has been selected. Centre's Mark Gasnier and Matt Gidley have been included after previously being snubbed, along with rookie prop Ryan O'Hara after his stirring performance on Friday night for Country. The squad will be trimmed back to 17 a week before the game with a lot of attention placed on the five-eighth position now that Trent Barrett has been injured and overlooked. Braith Anasta would be the obvious replacement with Craig Wing possibly providing some versatility off the bench in that area.
FRIDAY 23rd May 2003
CANBERRA v NZ WARRIORS at Westpac Stadium, Wellington at 5.35pm.
CANBERRA forward Ruben Wiki has been cleared of a careless high tackle by the National Rugby League judiciary.
A sub-committee of the St George Illawarra Dragons Board decided today not to appeal against the NRL's decision to fine the club $10,000 yesterday.
PREMIER League captain Dean Byrne has been named as replacement for the injured Trent Barrett at five-eighth in this Sunday's match against the Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
INTERNATIONAL five-eighth and Dragons captain Trent Barrett is not expected to play again this season after arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right ankle today revealed deep ligament damage, requiring the ankle to be pinned.
ST George Illawarra captain Trent Barrett is expected to miss the rest of the National Rugby League season after surgery on his right ankle revealed deep ligament damage.
TWO changes to the Warriors starting line up for this Friday's NRL clash with the Raiders in Wellington.
MELBOURNE Storm has named star halfback Matt Orford in the side that will take on the Parramatta Eels this Saturday at Parramatta Stadium (5.30pm).
NRL boss David Gallop has thrown his support behind referee's coach Robert Finch and says the standard of officiating is better than ever despite another day of axings and unrest in the refereeing ranks.
WESTS Tigers forward Willie Manu will miss two National Rugby League matches after pleading guilty to a grade three careless high tackle charge.
KIWIS and Canberra Raiders veteran Ruben Wiki will fight a high tackle charge that could see him miss three weeks of National Rugby League (NRL) action, starting with Friday night's clash with the New Zealand Warriors in Wellington.
THE NZ Warriors are working hard to secure the majority of their player roster for 2004. With just over a month before anti-tampering restrictions come off on June 30, coach Daniel Anderson said the club had already sealed deals with two players.