Cunningham ruled out of Great Britain squad

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The Independent Online

Keiron Cunningham is out of Great Britain's squad for the Test series against Australia next month.

The St Helens hooker, who missed much of this year with an elbow injury, now needs attention to knee and ankle problems. His absence leaves Wigan's Terry Newton as the senior hooker, although the Great Britain coach, David Waite, could draft in James Lowes of Bradford when he names his squad next week.

Two other Saints players, Keith Mason and Mike Bennett, have also been ruled out of the England squad for this autumn by the Rugby League's medical staff. They both have calf injuries. "They are all great players," Waite said. "It's a shame for them, but there's no alternative."

The Super League Grand Final on Saturday will be a sell-out for the first time, with Old Trafford filled to the 65,000 capacity set for the match between Bradford and Wigan. That will beat the previous record of 61,138, which was set last year.

Wigan have announced an unchanged side for the game, with Adrian Lam still ruled out by his knee injury and replaced at scrum-half by the 19-year-old Luke Robinson. "Adrian still feels he could offer something to the game, but we've had to chain him down," said his coach, Mike Gregory. "He's coming on the coaching staff for a week, doing a lot of one-on-one with Luke."

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