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The Super Preview - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sun, 20 May 2007 10:12:00 GMT

Super League returns this weekend after a brusing round of Challenge Cup ties. The big story of the week has been Bradford Bulls winger Lesley Vainikolo’s switch to rugby union.

The 28 year old New Zealand international was contracted with the Bulls until 2009, but Bradford agreed to end his contract as he opted to switch codes, and play for Gloucester RU.

Third placed Bradford face the in form Huddersfield on Friday. The two sides drew each other in the quarter final of the Carnegie Challenge Cup on Tuesday, which should be a tasty tie.

For round 14 the Giants are once again without Shane Elford, meaning that Jon Sharp has named an unchanged 18 man squad from last weekend’s cup victory.

Bradford include Gloucester RU bound Lesley Vainikolo in their 18, along with youngsters Richie Hawkyard and Jason Crookes who are set to make their Super League debuts. Huddersfield has not beaten Bradford in Super League before.

Huddersfield 18 man squad: Reilly, Aspinwall, Lolesi, Brown, Thorman, Paul, Crabtree, Drew, Skandalis, Nero, Raleigh, Wild, Jones, Jackson, Mason, Griffin, Hudson, Snitch.

Bradford 18 man squad: Crookes, Hawkyard, Vagana, James, I. Harris, McKenna, Halley, Lynch, Evans, B. Harris, Morrison, Solomona, Burgess, Henderson, Kopczak, Vainikolo, St Hilaire, McAvoy.

Wigan hopes to put pressure on the top three with a victory over Hull KR at the JJB.

The Warriors, who defeated the Rhinos in the cup last weekend, will be without second row Bryan Fletcher, which gives youngster Joel Tomkins a likely first appearance of the season.

Michael Vella and Scott Murrell return for the Robins who had last weekend off after being knocked out of the cup in round four by Warrington.

Wigan 18 man squad: Ashton, Calderwood, Bailey, Richards, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hock, O’Loughlin, Vaealiki, Millard, Prescott, Hansen, Goulding, Tomkins, O’Carroll.

Hull KR 18 man squad: Cockayne, Hardman, Goddard, Dyer, Cooke, Webster, Vella, Fisher, Gannon, Chester, O’Neill, Gene, Tangata-Toa, Ward, J. Netherton, Lennon, Murrell, Ford.

St. Helens can go level on points with top placed Leeds if they take the points against Wakefield. Talisman Sean Long returns for the Saints, who this week were paired up with Warrington for their quarter final cup tie.

The Wildcats recall Adam Watene, Waine Price, and Olivier Elima. Centre Sean Gleeson is set to make his debut after recently signing from Wigan.

St. Helens 18 man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Roby, Graham, Hargreaves, Smith, Clough, Fa’asavalu.

Wakefield 18 man squad: Pryce, Demetriou, Rooney, Jeffries, Watene, Obst , Catic, MacGillivray, Ferres, P. March, D. March, Henderson, Elima, Blaymire, Golden, Moore, White, Gleeson.

Warrington take on Harlequins RL on Saturday. The Wolves have Paul Wood back in their 18, but halfbacks Chris Bridge and Michael Sullivan are out through injury.

The London based Quins have Matt Gafa, Luke Burgess, and Tony Clubb returning, but will be without six first grade players.

Scott Hill, Henry Paul, Louie McCarthty-Scarsbrook, Zebastien Luisi, Michael Worrincy and Richard Villasanti all miss out through injury.

Warrington 18 man squad: Reardon, Fa’afili, Mark Gleeson, Johnson, Grose, Briers, Leikvoll, Clarke, Rauhihi, Morley, Westwood, Anderson, Martin Gleeson, Parker, Wood, Barnett, Harrison, Wainwright.

Harlequins RL 18 man squad: Burgess, Clubb, Gafa, Grayshon, Heckenberg, Hopkins, McLinden, Melling, Mills, Orr, Purdham, Randall, Rinaldi, T Smith, Sykes, Temata, Walsh, Wells.
Bottom club Salford are scrapping for points, this week away in the south of France as they face Les Catalans. The Dragons recall Djamel Fakir after six months out, along with Luke Quigley and Andrew Bentley. The Reds bring in Daley Williams, David Berthezene, and Luke Adamson in their bid to climb up the league ladder.

Les Catalans 20 man squad: A. Bentley, K. Bentley, Bosc, Chan, Fakir, Ferriol, Gossard, Greenshields, Griffi, Guisset, Jones, Khattabi, McGuire, Mogg, Mounis, Murphy, Quigley, Teixido, Touxagas, Wilson.

Salford 18 man squad: Hodgson, McGuinness, Wilshere, Dorn, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Korkidas, Edmondson, Finnigan, Viane, Brocklehurst, Adamson, Littler, Gower, Turner, Jewitt, Williams, Ratchford, Berthezene.

The final fixture of the round involves seventh placed Hull FC and top of the table Leeds.

Hull rested Sid Domic, Gareth Raynor, Ewan Dowes, Richard Swain, and Danny Tickle for their cup tie last weekend, and they are all recalled for Sunday’s game.

Jordan Tansey, Danny Williams, Ryan Hall, and Carl Ablett are included in Tony Smith’s 18. The Rhinos are without second row Ali Lauitiiti.

THE RICH ROUND 14 TIPS: Giants to beat Bulls by 12. Warriors to beat Hull KR by 18. Saints to beat Wildcats by 20. Wolves to beat Quins by 20. Dragons to beat Reds by 6. Rhinos to beat Hull FC by 12. - Read More, Here