Tag Archives: salford

Salford City Reds sack head coach Phil Veivers

Salford sack head coach Veivers after just five games of the Super League season

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

14:07 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 3 March 2013

Salford City Reds have parted company with head coach Phil Veivers with the club bottom of Super League.

The 48-year-old's dismissal comes following their fourth loss in five games as the Reds went down 38-4 to their fellow strugglers London Broncos on Friday.

The announcement came today just five weeks after the club was taken over by racehorse owner Dr Marwan Koukash who has big plans for the future of the club.

In a statement on the club’s official website, CEO Ed Farish said: ‘We have had to look at the whole business and what is right for the Club.

Dismissed: Veivers has been stood down as coach of the Reds

Dismissed: Veivers (pictured) has been stood down as coach of the Reds

‘The results speak for themselves and it was felt a change must be made to allow our progression to continue on the field as well as off it.

‘We thank Phil for his efforts during an extremely difficult close season and wish him all the best for the future.’

After Friday’s embarrassing defeat Dr Koukash had warned that ‘things have to change and changes will be made.’

Dramatic: Salford had secured their first win of the season last weekend after defeating Hull KR 38-34

Dramatic: Salford had secured their first win of the season last weekend after defeating Hull KR 38-34

The decision comes after only one Reds win since July and the side have started the season in disastrous fashion sitting at the foot of the Super League ladder having conceded almost 200 points.

Head of Youth Development Alan Hunte will take over the coaching duties for the trip to Wakefield next weekend.

After making Australian Ed Farish his chief executive and appointing New Zealanders Andrew Chalmers and Graham Lowe to his board of directors, Koukash seems certain to go down the same route with Veivers' successor.

Lowe, who succeeded Steve Simms as director of rugby, returned to Auckland yesterday and is expected to lead the search for the new man.
National coaches Tim Sheens (Australia) and Stephen Kearney (New Zealand) are both without club ties but are unlikely to be available until 2014 as they focus exclusively on preparations for the 2013 World Cup.

Sheens has spent the last seven days in Britain and Ireland on a fact-finding mission and confirmed to Press Association Sport that he would be looking to get back into club coaching after the World Cup, ‘whether that be in Australia or England’.

Former New Zealand coach Brian McClennan, who took Leeds to Grand-Final glory in 2008 and 2009, could come into the reckoning, along with former Great Britain boss Brian Noble, who is keen to get backing into coaching after leaving Crusaders at the end of 2009.

Sir Alex Ferguson at Harvard: Manchester United boss has nine honorary degrees

Student Fergie: 12 league titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups… but don't forget Sir Alex's NINE honorary degrees (what a swot!)

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UPDATED:

12:20 GMT, 19 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson might have the most impressive collection of trophies in English managerial history, but he’s also got nine honorary degrees to go with them.

The great Manchester United manager has won 12 Premier Leagues, two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups and 10 League Cups, just to name a few. And that is not even mentioning the three Scottish titles, four Scottish Cups and the Cup Winners Cup he won at Aberdeen before moving south of the border.

But we did some homework into the student that is Fergie and it turns out he has more honorary degrees than FA Cups and Champions Leagues put together!

Here are the universities who have honoured the great Scot's work:

1996 – University of Salford

Number one: Ferguson holds up his mortarboard after he was granted an honorary degree from University of Salford in 1996

Number one: Ferguson holds up his mortarboard after he was granted an honorary degree from University of Salford in 1996

1997 – Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Make that a double: Ferguson received a degree from Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University in 1997 at the city's music hall

Make that a double: Ferguson received a degree from Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University in 1997 at the city's music hall

2001- Glasgow Caledonian University

The treble: Ferguson picks up his honorary doctor of letters at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2001

The treble: Ferguson picks up his honorary doctor of letters at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2001

2002- University of St Andrews

Ferguson was part of a trio who were awarded honorary degrees by the University of St Andrews, the other two being University of St Andrews Rector Andrew Neil and Commissioner for Public Appointments Dame Rennie Fritchie.

Dr Brian Lang, Principal and Vice- Chancellor of the University said: 'Sir Alex Ferguson's impressive record does not repeating – he has brought great achievement to the sporting life of this country.'

Come forth: Ferguson at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree

Come forth: Ferguson at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree

2009 – Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University honoured Ferguson for a second time in 2009 having awarded him a with a honorary masters degree in 1998.

The United boss received a Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration in 2009 for his services to football and the city.

Ferguson said: 'It is always a delight to receive an honour in recognition of what I have done in football, particularly from what I have to call now my home city.'

He told graduates at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall: 'Your success in education is being recognised today, but life starts after education and it is what you do with your skills and knowledge that counts.'

Ferguson was honoured by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2009 for his contribution to football and the city

Back again: Ferguson was honoured by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2009 for his contribution to football and the city, his second degree from the university

2011 – University of Stirling

Ferguson was honoured with a doctorate by University of Stirling in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport.

Sir Alex said: 'I appreciate what Stirling University has done for me today, as do all my family. It is a great honour.'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after being rewarded with an honorary doctorate

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson makes a speech

Keep them coming: Ferguson was honoured with a doctorate by University of Sterling

2011 – University of Manchester

The United boss received an honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester to mark his 25 years in charge of the club.

He said: 'I think it’s always nice to be appreciated and recognised, and getting this recognition is testimony to all the hard work that has gone on at Manchester United in the last 25 years, not just by me, but by everyone at the club.

'The great part for me is still to be out on the field with the players and coaching them. As the game has changed, I have had to change with it; for example, sports science in the last decade has seen a phenomenal improvement and that has become a major development in the game.

'I just don’t think about retirement any more, when you’ve been on the treadmill for so long, 25 years in my case, and my health is good at the moment, it’s just a matter of looking forward to being the manager of Manchester United, rather than worrying about Alex Ferguson.

'I am enjoying it at the moment, we’ve got a good young team and a lot of youth at the club, as well as some tremendous staff, so the future is good and I can keep enjoying it.'

Loyalty: Ferguson received an honorary doctorate from University of Manchester in 2011 to mark 25 years in charge of Manchester United

Loyalty: Ferguson received an honorary doctorate from University of Manchester in 2011 to mark 25 years in charge of Manchester United

2012 – University of Ulster

University of Ulster announced in January that Ferguson and golfer Rory McIlroy would be honoured but the ceremony is yet to take place.

Ferguson is being recognised with a Doctor of Science degree for his services to football.

And another: University of Ulster announced in January that Ferguson was to receive an award but ,as yet, the ceremony has not taken place

And another: University of Ulster announced in January that Ferguson was to receive an award but ,as yet, the ceremony has not taken place

main building University of Ulster Jordanstown Campus Northern Ireland uk

Wow, that's impressive! Fergie applauds the United crowd... (and his accolades)

Wow, that's impressive! Fergie applauds the United crowd… (and his accolades)

Sale 25 Saracens 23

Sale 25 Saracens 23: Miller strikes late to earn Sharks narrow win

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 16 November 2012

Rob Miller's late penalty secured Sale Sharks' first triumph of this season's LV= Cup at the expense of Saracens at the Salford City Stadium.

Tries by Kameli Ratuvou and Joel Tomkins to go alongside 10 points from the boot of Nils Mordt gave Sarries a 20-12 half-time advantage, with Sale's response before the interval coming through Mark Cueto's score and a penalty try.

A Fraser McKenzie touchdown and a Danny Cipriani penalty took the Sharks into the lead before Ben Spencer's three-pointer edged the visitors ahead again, but Miller slotted a late penalty to earn the victory for the hosts.

Narrow win: Sale celebrate on their way to beating Saracens

Narrow win: Sale celebrate on their way to beating Saracens

With a vital Aviva Premiership encounter against Gloucester looming, Sale chose to select a weaker outfit to the one that had gone down 34-28 to London Irish the previous week.

However, it still looked stronger on paper than a Saracens team which rested the majority of their star players, particularly with Dwayne Peel and Cipriani starting at half-back for the hosts.

And the seven-times capped England international showed his quality from the off when a superb cut-out pass put Corne Uys in space.

The centre then produced a similarly sublime piece of skill to send Cueto away in the corner unopposed. Jordan Davies missed the conversion, but the home side led 5-0 after three minutes.

That advantage did not last long, though, as two scores in as many minutes put the visitors in front.

Firstly, Mordt slotted a penalty when Sale were penalised for holding on before a length-of-the-field move ended in Ratuvou touching down.

Instigated by Nick Auterac, the prop showed impressive pace to run 40 metres. Excellent support work and good hands from forwards and backs alike put the Fijian in space, and he did the rest.

Charge: Kearnan Myall of Sale Sharks is tackled by Ben Ransom of Saracens

Charge: Kearnan Myall of Sale Sharks is tackled by Ben Ransom of Saracens

It seemed to unsettle the Manchester-based outfit and Ben Ransom almost extended the away team's lead, but his jinking run was halted metres from the line.

That missed opportunity was to prove costly as the Sharks proceeded to go up the other end and score when referee Llyr ApGeraint Roberts awarded a penalty try for collapsing a maul.

But Saracens always looked dangerous with ball in hand. Another Ransom break set up a penalty opportunity which Mordt duly converted to take it to 13-12 in the visitors' favour.

Sarries full-back Ransom then rounded off an outstanding individual performance in the first half as a third menacing run allowed Tomkins to cross the whitewash, with Mordt adding the extras from out wide.

As conditions worsened for the start of the second period, the match became scrappy, but Eoin Sheriff offered the hosts hope after he was sin-binned for repeated team infringements.

And Sale took advantage of the extra man as McKenzie evaded two weak tackles to go over, Davies converting.

Cipriani and Spencer then traded three-pointers as Sarries held a one-point lead going into the closing stages, before Miller's late effort from the tee gave the Sharks victory.

Enoch Balotelli signs for Salford City

Balotelli signs for Salford City! … (Enoch that is, Mario's younger brother)

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UPDATED:

19:10 GMT, 16 November 2012

Enoch Balotelli, the younger brother of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, has joined non-league Salford City on a free transfer.

The 20-year-old signed for the Northern Premier League First Division side after failing to impress during trials at Sunderland and Stoke City last season.

The striker said: ‘I am more than happy to join Salford. I just want to play football. I trained with them last night, I enjoyed it, so I signed.’

Oh, brother: Enoch (left) has signed up for Salford City

Oh, brother: Enoch (left) has signed up for Salford City

Superstar: Mario

Superstar: Mario

Salford confirmed the move on Friday on the club’s official website, with the deal hinging on international clearance.

A statement read: ‘Salford City FC are pleased to announce the signing of Enoch Barwuah, younger brother of Manchester City star Mario Balotelli. The signing is subject to Enoch gaining international clearance, which should hopefully come through in the next couple of weeks.’

Salford chairman Darren Quick told BBC North West Sport: 'He’s been training with us and he’s signed for us, subject to international clearance.

'It’s great for Salford. We hope he can play a few games for us and he can use it as a stepping stone to find a level more suited to him.

'I’ve not met him but I’m told he’s a really nice lad and a really good footballer.

'We play a decent standard of football but some lads don’t want to drop to that level.

'These things can work for both parties. We might get a few more through the gate, and maybe his brother might even come and watch us.'

Sale 21 London Irish 9: Danny Cipriani helps Sharks to first win of the season

Sale 21 London Irish 9: Brilliant Cipriani helps Sharks to first win of the season

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UPDATED:

00:45 GMT, 3 November 2012

Danny Cipriani inspired Sale Sharks to their first Aviva Premiership triumph of the season with victory over London Irish at the Salford City Stadium.

The first half was dominated by Cipriani and the Sale forwards. The one-time England international set up Nick Macleod and Johnny Leota's tries in the opening period, as well as adding a conversion. Irish's response before the break came through a penalty from Ian Humphreys.

Humphreys kicked two more three-pointers in the second period to reduce the deficit, but two late Cipriani penalties sealed the victory.

Looking good: Danny Cipriani was in fine form for Sale

Looking good: Danny Cipriani was in fine form for Sale

Sale went into the game on the back of yet another difficult week which saw the removal of Bryan Redpath as director of rugby. Redpath was then installed as head coach on Wednesday with chief executive Steve Diamond putting himself in charge of first-team duties.

And that indecisiveness off the field translated to the team early on in this encounter. Straight from the kick-off Cillian Willis was charged down which allowed the visitors to build an attack in the opposition 22.

Topsy Ojo used his searing pace to scythe through the hosts' defence, but he failed to spot the overlap and the move eventually broke down. Despite their edgy opening, solid set-piece work allowed the Sharks to gain a foothold in the match. After they had stolen an Irish lineout, Sale drove impressively and forced the Reading-based outfit to infringe.

Macleod kicked the resultant opportunity as the home team led 3-0 with eight minutes gone. It seemed to settle them down and they added to that lead soon after when fly-half Cipriani sent the full-back over.

On the run: Sale's Tom Brady makes a break at Salford City Stadium

On the run: Sale's Tom Brady makes a break at Salford City Stadium

If anything, it was London Irish who looked like the side who had gone on a horrendous run of defeats with the back three struggling to deal with the wet conditions. They did reduce the arrears when Humphreys kicked three points, but it was the Sharks who continued to threaten when Leota charged through the defensive line.

Although that did not come to fruition, it was not long before the Samoan outside centre was crossing the try-line. Once again instigated by Cipriani, the stand-off's wonderfully delayed pass sent Leota through a gap and he shrugged off two would-be tacklers before touching down.

The hosts' fly-half converted to extend their advantage to a deserved 15-3 scoreline at half-time. But with a team that was so low on confidence, it was never a comfortable lead, especially when Humphreys ate into it just after the interval with a second three-pointer.

On the ball: Irish fly-half Ian Humphreys in action on Friday night

On the ball: Irish fly-half Ian Humphreys in action on Friday night

Even though the second period became mainly scrappy, it was the visitors who began to create opportunities. After Humphreys had broken the gain-line, Sale conceded a penalty which the fly-half duly converted.

Irish pressed but the hosts remained composed and Cipriani sealed the victory with successive penalties from the tee.

Wales 12 England 80: Josh Charnley scores four in rout

Wales 12 England 80: Charnley scores four to book place in Tri-Nations final

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 27 October 2012

Wigan winger Josh Charnley grabbed four tries on his international debut as England put Wales to the sword in their opening autumn international in Wrexham.

Charnley, whose 31 tries enabled him to finish top of the Super League list in 2012, continued his prolific form as England outclassed a gallant but limited Welsh side in front of 4,014 fans at the Racecourse Ground.

Leeds stand-off Kevin Sinfield kicked 24 points on his first appearance as captain of the national side and took the man-of-the-match award for his playmaking skills as England secured their place in the November 11 final.

Star man: Charnley crosses for one of his four tries

Star man: Charnley crosses for one of his four tries

France will hope to provide more resistance to Steve McNamara's men in next week's game at Hull KR's Craven Park before the two meet again in the tournament decider at the City of Salford Stadium.

England, with seven players winning their first caps, ran in 14 tries but fell just short of their record 74-0 win over Wales in Bridgend in 2009.

Wales' sixth consecutive defeat leaves Iestyn Harris with still much to do if he is to realise his dream of achieving a place in the world's top three by 2016, while McNamara will be delighted with his side's first run-out of the autumn.

The warning signs for the Welsh were there in the third minute when second rower Gareth Ellis got centre Kallum Watkins bursting through the Welsh defence only to be brought back for a forward pass.

Left winger Ryan Hall, whose lethal finishing was too good for Australia in last year's Four Nations Series, opened England's account on nine minutes when he took Richie Myler's cut-out pass to slide over for his eighth try for his country.

Charnley then grabbed his first, taking Watkins' fine pass after Sinfield had twice handled in the move, and Zak Hardaker scored the first of his two, finishing off a break by loose forward Sean O'Loughlin.

Sinfield, who missed his first
conversion attempt and struck the woodwork with his second, succeeded at
the third attempt to make it 14-0 after the first quarter.

Rout: England booked their place in the Tri-Nations final

Rout: England booked their place in the Tri-Nations final

Watkins was the first to O'Loughlin's grubber kick to score his first try for his country and Hardaker produced another skilful finish after collecting a smart offload from second rower Gareth Hock to register his second try.

Although outclassed, Wales never lost their enthusiasm and, after right winger Elliott Kear had gone close, centre Christiaan Roets raised their spirits with a try on the stroke of half-time, touching down wide out after skipper Craig Kopczak had fed the ball back from the line.

Matty Seamark's touchline goal cut the deficit to 26-6 and he was on target early in the second half after replacement forward Dan Fleming shrugged off Hock's attempted tackle to score a second Wales try.

However, England remained firmly in control, with Hall and Charnley both scoring their second tries in the third quarter and Sinfield sending Ellis over for one.

When Hock burst through to put hooker Rob Burrow over for England's ninth try on the hour, Sinfield's seventh conversion brought up his side's half-century.

Wales' gallant efforts then began to take their toll and Charnley seized on a dropped ball in the home 20-metre area to complete his hat-trick on 65 minutes.

England were in no mood to show any leniency as Leroy Cudjoe grabbed two tries in the last 12 minutes, Charnley went over for his fourth and second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan went past tiring defenders for another try.

Sale 34 Cardiff 33: Danny Cipriani inspires Heineken Cup comeback

Sale 34 Cardiff 33: Cipriani comes off the bench to inspire stunning Sharks comeback

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 14 October 2012

Danny Cipriani was Sale's hero as the Premiership strugglers overturned a 27-12 deficit to gain a dramatic, morale-boosting triumph over Cardiff on their return to the Heineken Cup.

The Sharks were trailing by 15 points when Cipriani, making his way back from injury and illness, was introduced from the bench after 49 minutes and he scored one try and created another as Bryan Redpath's men went on to snatch a breathless victory.

Sale gained a 27-26 win over the Blues in their last Heineken Cup campaign at Edgeley Park three years ago and Redpath will be hoping the repeat victory – their first at the new Salford City Stadium – will kick-start their season after opening with six straight defeats.

Back in it: Sale celebrate after Danny Cipriani's (third right) try during the Heineken Cup Pool Six match

Back in it: Sale celebrate after Danny Cipriani's (third right) try during the Heineken Cup Pool Six match

Touching down: Former England back Cipriani scores for the Sharks at Salford City Stadium

Touching down: Former England back Cipriani scores for the Sharks at Salford City Stadium

Cardiff, who played all but five minutes of the match without Sam Warburton due to injury, were still leading 30-24 when they were reduced to 14 men with the sin-binning of replacement Lewis Jones seven minutes from the end.

And the extra man advantage proved crucial as former Munster prop Tony Buckley was driven over for the match-winning try a minute later, although the Sharks were hanging on in the end after Leigh Halfpenny's seventh goal from as many attempts had cut the gap to a solitary point.

The outcome was tough on Wales winger Alex Cuthbert, whose first-half hat-trick of tries looked to have put his side on their way to victory.

The Blues, who went into the game on the back of consecutive defeats in the RaboDirect PRO12, suffered an early blow Warburton went off after just five minutes with a dislocated finger.

Hat-trick: Alex Cuthbert scored three tries but was tackled by Rob Miller and Mark Jennings on this drive

Hat-trick: Alex Cuthbert scored three tries but was tackled by Rob Miller and Mark Jennings on this drive

The Wales captain, who was returning to the side from a hand injury, was in hospital as his team-mates established a 24-9 interval lead, largely due to the efforts of Cuthbert, the 22-year-old hero of Wales' Grand Slam-winning team of last season.

Last season's Cup quarter-finalists took the lead with a third-minute penalty, struck by Halfpenny from two metres inside his own half after Sale were pulled up for obstruction in a promising attacking position.

The incident summed up the Sharks' current problems, with confidence draining away through an inability to finish off promising moves.

Back rower Richie Vernon and Andy Powell were prominent as the home side established early territorial dominance but full-back Rob Miller fumbled centre Will Addison's pass with the line at his mercy while debutant right winger Mark Jennings failed to make the most of a touchline dash.

Crunch: Sale wing Mark Cueto (centre) is tackled by Andy Kyriacou

Crunch: Sale wing Mark Cueto (centre) is tackled by Andy Kyriacou

Sale drew level through the first of four first-half penalties from former Cardiff fly-half Nick Macleod but they quickly fell 17-3 behind after Cuthbert ran in two tries in a three-minute spell.

He was in support of a midfield break by centre Jamie Roberts to score his first on 15 minutes and, before Sale had time to recover, finished off a sweeping move involving Halfpenny and Ceri Sweeney for his second.

Two further penalties from Macleod kept the home side in touch but Cardiff hooker Marc Breeze punished their latest handling error by cutting a swathe through their fragile defence to get Cuthbert over for his hat-trick try on 36 minutes.

Winning moment: Rob Miller scores the crucial penalty kick for Sale to complete the comeback

Winning moment: Rob Miller scores a crucial penalty kick for Sale to complete the comeback

Macleod's fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time made it 24-12 but Halfpenny landed another long-range effort five minutes into the second half to restore his side's 15-point lead.

That was the signal for Redpath to send on Cipriani in a bid to revive their fortunes and within six minutes he had scored his first try for the club, taking a return pass from Addison.

That cut the deficit to 10 points but Miller, handed the goalkicking duties following the withdrawal of Macleod, was wide with the conversion attempt and Halfpenny demonstrated precision to land another long-range penalty to keep his side in the driving seat.

Pull your socks up: Mark Jennings dives over the line to score his debut try for the Sharks

Pull your socks up: Mark Jennings dives over the line to score his debut try for the Sharks

But Cipriani's long pass was gathered by replacement centre Johnny Leota, who got Jennings over for a debut try and Miller's first goal of the afternoon cut the gap to six points.

Then came the sin-binning of Jones and Sale grabbed their opportunity to produce a storming finish, much to the delight of the 5,853 crowd.

Sale 16 Saracens 23: Charlie Hodgson impresses

Sale 16 Saracens 23: Hodgson makes it an unhappy housewarming party

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UPDATED:

19:17 GMT, 8 September 2012

Charlie Hodgson again returned to haunt Sale, whose first Aviva Premiership game at their Salford City Stadium home ended in defeat.

Hodgson kicked Saracens to victory last season with 20 points at Edgeley Park.

Battle: Charlie Hodgson is tackled by Danny Cipriani

Battle: Charlie Hodgson is tackled by Danny Cipriani

On Saturday the veteran fly-half, now retired from England duty, landed 18 points.

Hodgson and opposite number Danny
Cipriani, making his home debut following his move from Melbourne
Rebels, kicked all the first-half points from penalties as the visitors
led 12-9 at the break.

New home: The Salford City Stadium

New home: The Salford City Stadium

Wing Will Addison's breakaway try
briefly put Sale ahead, but summer signing Chris Ashton's third try in
two games for Sarries and Hodgson's boot earned victory.

Sale had to wait an extra 15 minutes
to begin Premiership life at their new ground, which has an artificial
pitch like the one Saracens will play on at their new Allianz Park home
from the start of next year, as a traffic accident nearby put kick-off
back to 4.45pm.

Dodge: Chris Wyles evades the tackle of Kearnan Myall

Dodge: Chris Wyles evades the tackle of Kearnan Myall

Jon Wilkin will captain England against Exiles

Wilkin will skipper England against Exiles after Peacock's retirement

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UPDATED:

14:45 GMT, 2 July 2012

St Helens captain Jon Wilkin will captain England in Wednesday's origin international against the Exiles at Huddersfield.

Wilkin, 28, will take over the role from Jamie Peacock, who announced his retirement from international rugby league with immediate effect, at the end of June.

He was left out of the team for the opening game but is one of six changes made by coach Steve McNamara for the return game at the Galpharm Stadium.

Captain: Jon Wilkin will skipper England

Captain: Jon Wilkin will skipper England

McNamara confirmed debuts for Warrington utility back Stefan Ratchford while Danny Brough (Huddersfield) and Matty Smith (Salford) will form a new-look half-back partnership, with forwards Scott Taylor (Hull KR) and Liam Farrell (Wigan) on the bench.

They will line up alongside nine survivors of the team that won 18-10 in the opening game at Langtree Park.

'We have a young, hungry side,' said McNamara. 'We have made a number of changes from the first game and it is an exciting opportunity to see some real quality young players coming in and staking a claim for a regular place in the side.'

McNamara is also looking forward to see how Brough and Smith cut it at this level forming a new half-back combination.

'Matty and Danny really excite me,' he added. 'They have been in tremendous form in the Stobart Super League and I know they have the ability to step up and perform at this level.

'They will complement each other's skills and can form a devastating partnership.'

Euro 2012: BBC"s Alan Hansen mocked for tournament picks

It doesn't work like that, Alan: BBC pundit Hansen mocked as he picks three teams from same group to make Euro semis

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 6 June 2012

Alan Hansen has been mocked by fans after picking three teams from the same group among his tips for the Euro 2012 semi-finals.

The Match of the Day regular joined other BBC pundits in revealing their tips for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

But Hansen found himself on the end of a string of jibes after selecting Germany, Holland and Portugal as semi-finalists along with champions Spain.

Are you sure Alan Hansen picked Germany, Holland and Portugal to make the semi final despite them all being in Group B

Are you sure Alan Hansen picked Germany, Holland and Portugal to make the semi final despite them all being in Group B

That is impossible as only the top two teams from each group can qualify for the knockout stages.

The article on the BBC Sport website was later amended to show just three tips for the semi-finals, while the others – such as Alan Shearer – all had four picks.

One fan took to Twitter, to have a pop at Hansen, saying: 'The Alan Hansen quote just reinforces the shared view of the over-paid, over-comfortable, under-researched & downright lazy BBC Sport team'

Are you sure Alan Hansen's original picks for the semi finals

Are you sure Alan Hansen's original picks for the semi finals

Changing his mind Hansen only has three picks for the semi finals as his original picks were not possible

Changing his mind Hansen only has three picks for the semi finals as his original picks were not possible

Hansen has come in for criticism for his lack of insight on Match of the Day, particularly after details of his huge salary emerged.

The former Liverpool star earns around 1.5million per year from the corporation – around 40,000 per MOTD episode.

Top tips: Hansen expects Robin van Persie's Holland to make the semi finals

Top tips: Hansen expects Robin van Persie's Holland to make the semi finals

Hansen will be part of the BBC team for Euro 2012 studio team who will broadcast from their base in Salford during the finals.