Aspinwall ruled out of final

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The Independent Online

Martin Aspinwall has lost his battle to be fit to play for Wigan in the Powergen Challenge Cup final on Saturday.

The England A centre was hoping to recover from a hamstring injury in time to face St Helens in Cardiff, but has now been ruled out.

"We gave Martin a fitness test, but unfortunately he had not fully recovered," said his coach, Mike Gregory.

"It is most disappointing for Martin, but we are fortunate to have David Hodgson back after recovering from his Achilles injury." Hodgson will play on the right wing after coming safely through his comeback game last weekend, with Sean O'Loughlin and Kevin Brown in the centres.

Danny Tickle and Gareth Hock start in the second row, with the more experienced Mick Cassidy on the bench.

Also among the substitutes will be Danny Sculthorpe; he and the St Helens captain, Paul, will become the first brothers to face each other in a Challenge Cup final since the Naughtons - Warrington's Albert and Widnes's John - in 1950.

The inaugural Tri-Nations tournament is to be played in London after all, with Australia playing New Zealand at Loftus Road on Saturday, 23 October. Great Britain will play their first match the following week.

The decision was announced in London today. It marks a change of direction by the Rugby Football League, whose executive chairman, Richard Lewis, said last month that playing a game in the capital represented an unnecessary financial risk.

The series' sponsors, Gillette, are thought to have disagreed with that assessment, as did the overwhelming majority of the media who will cover it.

Their view has prevailed and the League will now hope for a good crowd at the 19,000- capacity stadium to launch the new international format.

Castleford have given two-year contracts to young Londoners Rob Worrincy and Alex Rowe. The pair, who have been on trial, are products of the Broncos' Academy. Worrincy made his Super League debut at Bradford on Sunday.

"They have a lot to learn, but they have real potential," said the club's junior development manager, Dean Sampson.

Hull have confirmed that their prop, Garreth Carvell, is likely to miss the rest of the season after tearing knee ligaments at Huddersfield on Friday. That means that the former Penrith junior Ryan Benjafield could make his Super League debut against Leeds on 21 May.