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Harlequins give Burnett a chance with season's loan

Harlequins have signed the Hull back-row forward Mike Burnett on a season-long loan.

The 22-year-old has made 36 first-team appearances over the past three seasons, but has been squeezed out of Hull's immediate plans by their range of options in his position.

"He has had limited first-team action, due to Hull's wealth of talent in the back-row," said Quins' coach Rob Powell. "I know he is hungry for the opportunity and has the mentality and the tools to excel down here." Burnett said that he hoped to show the sort of form that will equip him to reach his potential when he returns to his parent club at the end of the 2011 season.

Hull are well-covered at second row after the signing of Joe Westerman from Castleford. The others competing for starting roles are Danny Tickle, Epalahame Lauaki, Willie Manu and Craig Fitzgibbon.

Harlequins are hoping that Burnett's loan will be as successful as that of Ben Jones-Bishop, who spent last season with them before going back to Leeds. Jones-Bishop is due to mark his return to Headingley by playing in the traditional Boxing Day fixture against Wakefield on Sunday.

Castleford fear that their new signing, the Samoa international outside-back Willie Isa, will miss all their pre-season games because of a delay in granting him a visa.

Widnes have called off their Boxing Day friendly against Warrington, because their Stobart Stadium pitch is frozen. The game has been provisionally rearranged for 2 January.