Newton facing disciplinary hearing after derby defeat

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The Independent Online

The incidents, both during the derby defeat by St Helens on Saturday, left Lee Gilmour with concussion and Sean Long with a suspected fractured eye-socket that would put him out of the Tri-Nations this autumn. Newton was placed on report for the first incident.

Saints have accepted that another serious facial injury to Darren Albert was caused by an accidental clash of heads, but took the unusual step of citing Newton over his two tackles yesterday. The club's chairman, Eamonn McManus, had referred in the aftermath of the match to "acts of thuggery".

Any ban is unlikely to make any immediate practical difference to Newton. He aggravated a hip injury against Saints and will not play in the game at Huddersfield on Sunday which will be, barring a mathematical miracle, Wigan's last of the season.

His coach, Ian Millward, has also said that the injury needs to be rested during the close season, which would rule him out of the Tri-Nations, even if a suspension does not.

It would be an ignominious end to a successful, if sometimes stormy career at Wigan, who are likely to replace him with Saints' Mick Higham.

Another departing Wigan player, Martin Aspinwall, is in trouble off the field. Aspinwall, who joining Huddersfield along with Stephen Wild, was arrested outside Ince Labour Club last Sunday on suspicion of assault. He has been bailed until 14 October.

The Leeds prop, Barrie McDermott, has been charged with striking in Saturday's game at Warrington and will appear at today's hearing. McDermott is due to retire at the end of this season, so a ban could finish his playing career.

Bradford have decided that they will play their home matches next season on Friday nights.