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Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK


Sport: Rugby League

Long looking to boost GB

Sean Long's form has been a revelation for St Helens

St Helens' star Sean Long is hoping his recent run of good form will rub off on Great Britain during the Tri Nations series against Australia and South Africa.

Long, who was a key component in Saints' Grand Final victory over Bradford on the weekend, has twice been voted the outstanding Super League player of the year by his fellow professionals.

He confirmed his growing reputation as a match-winner with a miraculous 18-point haul on his comeback from injury to help Saints see off Castleford in the final eliminator and followed that with another influential substitute appearance on Saturday.

A recurrence of the shoulder injury that kept him out for five weeks towards the end of the regular Super League season threatened to dash his hopes of adding to his two Test caps, but he has since been passed fit to join up with the Great Britain and Ireland squad.

"I took another bang on the shoulder as I tried to tackle James Lowes when he was going in for a try and my first thought was that I'd done it again," he said.

"I thought it was the end of the tour but I put plenty of ice on it and I'll have treatment while I'm out there. I can always play with a jab but hopefully I'll not need it."

Australia, meanwhile, will field a new centre partnership for their opening Tri Series match against New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

Cronulla's Russell Richardson will partner Newcastle's Test debutant Matthew Gidley on Friday as coach Chris Anderson builds a fresh line-up.

Australia team:

R Ross; M Rogers, M Gidley, R Richardson, W Sailor; B Fittler (capt), B Kimmorley; R Howe, C Gower, D Britt, N Kosef, B Fletcher, J Smith. Replacements: D Lockyer, D Smith, J Stevens, M Vella.



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Rugby League Contents

In this section

BBC 's Challenge Cup cash boost

Thunder boss defends merger

League's northern empire cut back

Wigan coach Goodway quits

Kangaroos deny Kiwis Tri-Nations

GB have Long to thank

Lions crash out of Tri-Series

Broncos capture top Aussie

England rack up half-century

Brits suffer Brisbane battering

Scots thrill at Firhill

Ireland make most of Eyres dismissal

French foiled by England fightback

Saints hang on for final glory