Rugby Leaguer & League Express www.totalrl.com
Wigan fans will have to wait for Finch
Orr the best man for the job
By DAVID KUZIO
NEW Wigan signing Brett Finch has revealed he was not prepared to risk his long-term health by playing on with a neck injury, and he insists surgery was the only way forward. The 29-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Super League Champions after leaving NRL side Melbourne Storm, but he has been ruled out of the start of the season after undergoing neck surgery, following a reaction to an old injury in training. “It flared up a bit from an injury I
suffered at the back end of last season with Melbourne. It is frustrating, because when you come to a new club you just want to play as soon as
By TOM COATES
Ryan Hudson in the role, having already served as captain during his first spell with the club for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Head coach Terry Matterson says the decision to select Orr (above) was based on his experience, and the amount of time he’s likely to spend on the field in 2011. “The main reason for the change is that I was looking for a captain who plays for 80 minutes in most games, and Danny fits that bill,” said Matterson, alluding to the possibility of previous captain Hudson sharing the hooking role with Adam Milner in 2011.
DANNY Orr has been named Castleford Tigers captain for the second time in his career. He replaces previous incumbent
“I’ve been really lucky with injuries over my career. I have never had an injury that has put me out for longer than a couple of weeks, so it is a setback. But this involves the neck and the spine, and I couldn’t take a chance with it, so it had to be done. I’m on the road to recovery now, and it is getting better every day." Finch (pictured) starts a new modified training programme on Monday
(today), which involves
weights and bike work, and he is hoping for good news when he next visits the specialist.
“I’ll be on this modified training programme for a week or two, and then I’ll be back into pretty much full training without the contact. I see the specialist again on 17 February, and I’ll
then have a clearer picture of what he’s looking at. Originally I was meant to be out for twelve weeks, but I am recovering well and I’d like to think I will be back before then." And Finch wants to show Wigan fans that he is worth waiting for. “I don’t want
whingeing, but it is just frustrating. I had a really hard pre-season and did all the training, and I thought I was ready
CRAVEN PARK TO UNDERGO MAKEOVER
An artist impression of how the completed North Stand will look
By TOM COATES
HULL KR hope to have completed improvements that will take the capacity of their Craven Park home up to 14,000 within six months.
The construction of a new north stand to replace the temporary seated terrace at that end of the pitch is expected to begin in June, while work to extend the east stand could begin within two weeks.
The club is currently waiting for financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The request for financial aid is expected to be ratified by the end of next month, while Hull City Council will loan the rest of the money needed to finance the improvements.
“Danny has plenty of experience under his belt, and the position he plays is ideal for the role. He has all of the traits of being a good captain, and has done it all before here at Castleford, which is a bonus. “And, with the emergence of Adam in the hooking position, Ryan won't be out the pitch as much as he has had to be in previous seasons. This will also ease the burden for Ryan, though he'll still be a leader in the side amongst some of the other senior guys.” The Tigers have allowed prop forward Nathan Massey to join York City Knights on a dual-registration deal. He made five appearances during a previous loan spell with the Championship outfit in 2008. Also heading to York is second- rower John Davies, who has agreed a season-long loan. Davies made his first and only Super League appearance for the Tigers last season, coming off the bench during their 20-16 away win over Catalans Dragons on March 13. He may be recalled by the Tigers at 48 hours notice.
to sound like I’m
to go and this came up. But I’ve had the operation, and the main thing is the neck is now sorted. There will be no ongoing injuries, and it won’t be a problem that will linger and affect me during the season. “It’s better we got it done and out of the way now. When I come back there will be plenty of footy to be played, and I’m really looking forward to working my way into the team."
Plans to improve the facilities at Craven Park, following a previous extension of the East Stand in 2008 and the widening of the pitch in 2006, were first revealed in April 2008, and have been the subject of delays ever since. Chief executive Mike Smith is eager for work to begin sooner rather than later.
“In six months' time if everything goes to plan, fans won't recognise Craven Park,” he told a Hull KR fans' forum last week.
Smith also revealed that the capacity of Craven Park would not be reduced while work takes place, and that the ‘golf stand’ will be moved to the opposite side of the pitch when work begins on the new north stand. “We will wait until the east stand is complete before starting the north stand. The east stand will increase the capacity, so the impact of losing the golf stand won't be as bad," Smith told the supporters. “We
will be taking down the Pryce hoping for Quins boost By SIMON FITZJOHN
KARL Pryce hopes his loan spell at Harlequins could be just the boost he needs as he attempts to get his stop-start career back on track. The giant Wigan winger is in the capital on what is initially a one-month deal, with the option for an extension. And, after a frustrating couple of years that have seen a combination of injuries and a loss of form, the 24-year- old has his sights set on re-establishing his Super League credentials. Pryce said: “If I am honest, my career has gone a little stale. “I am certainly not where I want to be at this stage.
“The last two years have not been the best, and I want to do everything I can to get my form back.
“That is why I asked to go out on loan - it was my decision, not Wigan’s.
“When I got offered the chance to come to Harlequins I grabbed it, as I want to get down here, get some games under my belt and get my form back.” The former Bradford star, who returned to Super League in 2009 after a spell in rugby union with Gloucester, still managed 13 tries in nine league and Cup games for the Warriors last season.
And he admits he has already noticed the difference in outlook, despite just two weeks in London. Pryce added: “It is certainly a bit
different down here. “At Wigan with Michael Maguire the way he works it is constant, constant, constant, and you quickly get used to that.
“But it is a good environment for me at Quins, as you get to express yourself a lot more. “You can try out things in training, and there is a bit more freedom. “I am just happy to be here, and I
Dragons hand contract to young Frenchman By TOM COATES
CATALANS Dragons have handed hooker Eloi Pelissier a professional contract, The 19-year-old, a product of the club’s Academy system, has agreed
terms for the next two years, and scored his
first senior try for the Dragons
against the Crusaders last month. He was also named in the squad that faced Toulouse a week later.
Pelissier was named in Bobbie Goulding’s 25-man squad for last year’s European Cup, but remains uncapped at
“Eloi went really well in the two trials that we played. He’s in the mix for 2011, and is part of our group,” explained coach Trent Robinson. “He’ll add a bit more depth to our squad, and I’ll be interested to see how he goes this year.”
want to be involved as much as I can.” Pryce is vying with the likes of Chris Melling and Mark Calderwood to make the first team for the opening clash with Catalan Dragons on Saturday at the Millennium Stadium. And the back insists he is happy to play wherever he is asked.
2 JANUARY 2011 (hearing 18 Jan) Dane Manning Batley v Dewsbury
16 JANUARY 2011 (hearing 25 Jan) Wayne Godwin Salford v Wigan
30 JANUARY 2011 Ryan Boyle
Ray Cashmere Hull KR v Salford
2 JANUARY 2011 Rob Roberts Paul Wood David March Tony Tonks
Hull KR v Salford old stand carefully, so we can put it up at the south end.”
Pryce added: “I just want to help Quins in any way I can, as that in turn helps me get to where I want to be. “I can play anywhere in the backline, and the most important thing for me is just to be playing.
“I know it will be pretty much a week to week deal, but I aim to make the most of it.” Off the field, Harlequins last week appointed
SIN BIN Disciplinary decisions OFFENCE
use of elbow
dangerous throw dangerous contact
foul and abusive SIN BIN Match review panel Tommy Haughey Featherstone v Hunslet fighting
23 JANUARY 2011 Matt James
Alex Benson Ben Cross
28 JANUARY 2011 Michael Witt
Hunslet v Leeds Hunslet v Leeds Hunslet v Leeds
Featherstone v Hunslet fighting Featherstone v Hunslet fighting
Batley v Dewsbury Widnes v Warrington
16 JANUARY 2011 James Walker Dewsbury v Wakefield use of forearm Scott Woodcock Hunslet v Leeds Kyle Amor Rob Kelly Neil Lowe
Barrow v Wigan York v St Helens Crusaders v Leeds Crusaders v Leeds
use of forearm
PENALTY SUFFICIENT SIN BIN SUFFICENT SIN BIN SUFFICENT SIN BIN SUFFICENT
dangerous contact/throw fighting fighting
late/high challenge punching punching
* (hearing 8 February)
running into confrontation high tackle
SIN BIN SUFFICENT SIN BIN SUFFICENT CAUTION
PENALTY & ON-FIELD CAUTION SUFFICIENT CHARGE*
PENALTY & ON-FIELD CAUTION SUFFICIENT
PENALTY & ON-FIELD CAUTION SUFFICIENT
NO CHARGE CAUTION NO CHARGE London Skolars
coach James Massara as their new Player Performance Manager.
TWO MATCHES ONE MATCH
TWO MATCHES ONE MATCH
7th January 2011
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