Connolly could join exodus of veterans from Wigan to Widnes

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Gary Connolly could be set to join the ex-Wigan over-30s club at Widnes next season.

The 33-year-old Great Britain centre returned to Wigan from Leeds in mid-season and was expected to retire, or play rugby union with Orrell, after this campaign. But Connolly's representatives have been in touch with other Super League clubs and Widnes, who have already recruited Terry O'Connor and Mick Cassidy from Wigan for next season, are interested.

"We want to get this season out of the way before we make any more announcements about next," said the club's chairman, Tony Chambers. "If we don't win one of our remaining two matches, we could be out of Super League and not making any signings."

Paul Mellor could miss Castleford's game at Widnes on Saturday, which they must win to preserve their slim chance of avoiding relegation. Mellor scored a hat-trick in the 22-24 defeat by Salford on Sunday, but will face a charge of striking an opponent in that game today.

Sean Long's comeback will be delayed by a week, thanks to television schedules. The St Helens scrum-half completes his three-month ban for betting irregularities at midnight on 17 September, but Sky will screen their match at Bradford that evening. That means Long will not be able to play until Saints begin their play-off matches the following weekend.

The other player suspended for his part in "Wagergate", Martin Gleeson, now with Warrington, ends his exile a month later and could be drafted into England's side to play Russia in Moscow in the European Nations Cup on 24 October.

The Leeds second-rower, Ali Lauitiiti, has reversed his decision to make himself unavailable for New Zealand in the tournament.

Perpignan have signed Julian Bailey from Huddersfield and Sean Rudder, formerly with Castleford.

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