Hodgson and Hansen compound Wigan woe

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The Independent Online

With little more than a week to go before the start of the Super League season, Wigan's injury problems are getting steadily worse.

Already without three internationals for the early weeks of the campaign, the club has had it confirmed that David Hodgson needs an operation on a ruptured Achilles tendon and will be out for four months.

On top of that, the young centre or back-rower, Harrison Hansen, has broken his wrist and the prop, Quentin Pongia, has a back injury that will rule him out for two weeks. "We're reduced to 18 fit first-team players and we haven't officially kicked off yet," said the Wigan coach, Mike Gregory.

Liam Botham wants to continue his rugby league career as a second-rower. The dual-code signing at Leeds is training full-time with the Rhinos' squad and is keen to follow the suggestion of their chief executive, Gary Hetherington, that his future could lie in the pack. Botham's only Super League appearance last season was on the wing at Castleford.

Rob Worrincy, Castleford's trialist signing from the London Broncos, is in line to make his first appearance for the club in the friendly against Hull tonight.

Castleford have switched their Powergen Challenge Cup fourth round tie against the French side, Union Treiziste Catalane, to 28 February.

The televised double-header on the BBC the following day will consist of the Wigan v Widnes tie, followed by Bradford against St Helens.

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