Australian McKinnon to join Hull

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The Independent Online

Hull have clinched the signing of the Australian full-back Wade McKinnon from Wests Tigers. The 30-year-old former New Zealand Warriors, Parramatta and South Sydney player will arrive next season on a three-year contract, having been released from the final year of his deal with his present club.

"Hull are a big club with big ambitions and that is something I want to be a part of," McKinnon (right) said. He will wear the number one shirt next season, which throws some doubt upon the future of the current specialist in that position, Cameron Phelps. The former Wigan full-back is only under contract to the end of this season, but the Hull coach, Richard Agar, denies that McKinnon's arrival means that Phelps will not be re-signed.

"Cameron provides us with terrific value on the salary cap and we could certainly be making him a new offer," Agar said. "He is a full-back who can also play wing or centre and his performances over the rest of the season will determine whether he is offered a new deal. It is important he strings a run of games together."

Phelps' immediate prospects of doing that do not look good, after he limped out of the defeat by Huddersfield early in the match on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

Hull are waiting to assess the seriousness of the injury, but he looks very doubtful for the derby at Hull KR this Sunday. By contrast, Sean Long's prospects look brighter. He has had two wires removed from the thumb he fractured six weeks ago and is back in training.

Warrington have confirmed that their 19-year-old half-back, Gareth O'Brien, will miss the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in the Challenge Cup victory over Swinton. O'Brien, who has made a handful of impressive first-team appearances this season, will need major surgery on the injury.

Dewsbury have criticised Sheffield Eagles' decision to stage the Championship match between the two sides on "a school field".

Sheffield have moved Friday's fixture to Mount St Mary's College in Spinkhill because both their regular grounds, Bramall Lane and the Don Valley Stadium, are out of commission for re-seeding.