Warriors and Dragons announce squads
Wigan�s exciting scrum-half capture Michael Dobson has been tipped as a potential future Australia star by one of the best Test number sevens in the game.
Stacey Jones, the legendary New Zealand half-back, will come up against the 20-year-old Dobson when Wigan host the Catalans Dragons in a crucial engage Super League basement battle at the JJB Stadium on Sunday night.
Dobson, plucked from the obscurity of Canberra reserves, was given the daunting task of filling the boots of the Dragons captain during Jones� 12-week absence from Super League with a broken arm and the little Kiwi has nothing but praise for his understudy.
�I was very impressed,� said Jones. �He�s a kid who�s willing to learn.
�It was a great move for his career to be able to come over here and play some football rather than being stuck back home playing premier grade football.
�Playing at this level was very good for him and he played extremely well. It was a bit of a shame we couldn�t keep him but that�s the way it went.�
Dobson, who plays his third match for relegation-threatened Wigan, was much sought-after following his impressive performances for the Catalans and Jones believes he has a big future in the game.
�It has been good for his development, to get back into the NRL with Canberra and maybe one day play for Australia,� added Jones.
�He�s young enough to keep learning and I see no reason why he shouldn�t play for Australia if he keeps developing.
�He�s off to a fairly good start. I know he�s had some injuries early in his career that he�s had to get over. If he can stay injury free and be a consistent performer in the NRL, he can go all the way.�
The outcome of the clash between novice and maestro could hold the key to a match Wigan, six points adrift with 12 games left, simply cannot afford to lose if they are to pull off the great escape.
�It�s a nice match up,� said Warriors coach Brian Noble. �Stacey is very experienced and he will know a lot about Dobbo.
�By the same token we have taken a look at some footage of Catalan and Michael has re-enforced some of the things they try to do.
�It will be a really tough interesting game and we need to win that and most of the other match-ups.�
Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons, JJB Stadium, Sunday June 18 2006
Wigan 18-man squad: Ashton, Dallas, Dobson, Fletcher, Godwin, Hansen, Higham, Hill, Hock, Logan, McAvoy, O'Carroll, O'Loughlin, Orr, Paleaaesina, Radlinski, Richards, Seu Seu.
Catalans Dragons 18-man squad: Beattie, Berthezene, Casty, Chan, Fakir, Fellous, Frayssinous, Guigue, Guisset, Hindmarsh, Jones, Khattabi, Mounis, Murphy, Rinaldi, Rudder, Verges, Wilson.
Referee: S Ganson