Change for Penny

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The Independent Online
Two of Britain's most promising young full-backs have paid for their club's defeats last week by being dropped for Regal Trophy ties this weekend.

The Wigan coach, Graeme West, has left out Paul Atcheson for the match at Hull, while Warrington have relegated his successor as the Great Britain Under-21 full back, Lee Penny, for today's tie at Salford.

Iestyn Harris plays his first senior game in the position for Warrington. "But he has played a lot of his reserve-team rugby at full-back and I have no worries about him," said the Warrington coach, Brian Johnson.

Salford are unchanged, with Andy Gregory likely to be out for another couple of weeks.

The two sides have been in contrasting form, with Warrington going into sharp decline after a fine start to the season and Salford finally achieving a degree of consistency.

"The difference has been our defence," said the Salford coach, Garry Jack. "We have put a lot of work in and it has paid off."

So has his short-term signing of the New Zealand international, Jason Williams, who scored a dazzling hat-trick of tries against Featherstone last week and will again be Salford's danger man.

Wigan have reacted to last Sunday's defeat at Leeds, their first in the league this season, by moving Henry Paul to full back and bringing Frano Botica back at stand-off.

Warrington have a doubt over Jason Robinson, with Kris Radlinski standing by, but there is still no place in the pack for Barrie McDermott.

Wigan have worked predictably hard this week on the aspects of their game that let them down against Leeds - their back line defence and their handling under pressure.

"The mood has been very positive," said West, who has experienced enough visits to Hull to know that it is rarely an easy trip for Wigan.

In the Challenge Cup there last season, Hull came closer than any side for seven years to knocking them out when they led 21-2 just before half-time before succumbing 22-21.

"They have very vocal support and they always play very enthusiastically against Wigan," said West. "It is always a very difficult game and we expect it to be that way again."

Hull, still without a permanent coach following the sacking of Tony Gordon 10 days ago, are uncomfortably close to the foot of the First Division, but are capable of giving Wigan trouble once more.

But there will be no chance to embarrass his first club for the Hull prop Tim Street. He has been suspended for four matches after being sent off for the use of his elbow against Halifax.

Wigan's conquerors, Leeds, will be unchanged at Workington, where they need to shed their euphoria quickly against another side capable of lifting their game at home.

Oldham will go to Widnes full of confidence after last week's big win over Warrington.

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