Gleeson returns for Wigan's next crusade

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The Independent Online

Wigan have had better news about their injured second-rower Lee Mossop but must still find a replacement for him for the match with Crusaders at Wrexham today. A shoulder operation has shown that Mossop will be out for a month, rather than the three that was originally feared.

The Super League leaders' coach, Michael Maguire, will decide between Iafeta Paleaaesina and Liam Farrell as his stand-in against Crusaders. Martin Gleeson returns after his one-match club ban, but Stefan Marsh , who replaced him at Huddersfield last week, retains his place in the squad.

Crusaders, who will be hoping for a big improvement on their 1,800 Challenge Cup gate against the Catalan Dragons in their last home game, have Luke Dyer vying for a recall on the wing. Dyer replaces Gareth Raynor, whose contract was cancelled this week after he was jailed for 15 months for fraud and counterfeiting.

Maguire does not expect an easy victory despite his side's apparent superiority. "They've a new-look team and they've a chance to improve on that earlier game this season [which Wigan won 38-6]," Maguire said. "They have a lot of quality in their team and I'm sure it's going to be tough encounter."

In the day's other game, Brent Sherwin is in line to make his debut for the Dragons after his surprise transfer from Castleford. Sherwin has the rest of the season to prove to the Catalans that he is worth the contract for next season that Cas would not give him.

Opponents Salford are on a high after their exhilarating victory over St Helens last week, but they have learned this week that at least one of that winning side's days with them are numbered.

The centre Willie Talau has announced that he is to retire at the end of the season. Talau had six highly successful seasons with St Helens before spending the last two years at The Willows.

On top of that, Salford face a battle to retain their Australian half-back, Daniel Holdsworth, whose form has been a revelation since he arrived on a one-year contract from the Canterbury Bulldogs. The Reds have offered him a three-year extension, but fear that they may be out-bid by other Super League clubs.

The highlight of tomorrow's programme is Bradford's derby against Leeds, although Warrington versus Huddersfield is a match of equal significance to the top of the table.

The England centre, Michael Shenton, is back after a four-game absence for Castleford against Hull, who have extended Paul McShane's loan from Hull so that he can play in the game. Just down the road, Harlequins have a good, solid chance of maintaining their recent improvement at the expense of Wakefield.