Hooker crisis for Hull as Lupton joins Swain with long-term injury

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The Independent Online

Hull have resigned themselves to being without Peter Lupton for the rest of the season after the utility player became a victim of the game's spate of pectoral injuries.

Hull have resigned themselves to being without Peter Lupton for the rest of the season after the utility player became a victim of the game's spate of pectoral injuries.

Lupton suffered the tear in last Sunday's victory over Widnes. "It's a lot more serious than the pectoral injury that Stephen Kearney had at the start of the season," said the Hull coach, John Kear.

The club hopes, however, that it will not be as serious as the pectoral tear that ended Luke Davico's career before even playing a competitive game for Wigan.

The timing of Lupton's problem is bad, because he was a possible replacement for Hull's regular hooker, Richard Swain, who will be out for three months with a broken arm.

"If there was one person we didn't want to lose, it was Richard and now we've lost his stand-in," Kear said.

His absence means that Andy Last, now on the club's coaching staff, will continue to be drafted into the squad, although Kear has other options for Sunday's game at Leigh in Danny Brough and Motu Tony.

Leigh will be without John Duffy for the first time this season, but have denied any immediate move for the former Wigan and Widnes scrum-half, Willie Peters, now with South Sydney.

The Leigh director, Phil Coffey, has admitted that the club could need to win nine of its remaining 19 games to avoid relegation from Super League.

Paul Sculthorpe's lower back injury will not be risked in Saturday's game at London and he could be out of action for a further month.

"It's a process to make sure he's fine long term," said his coach, Ian Millward.

Five clubs in Australia's National Rugby League have been fined for breaches of their salary caps. Two of them, Canterbury and St George-Illawarra, have indicated that they are going to fight their fines.

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