Wigan and Hull have suffered injury blows which could also have major implications for Great Britain's prospects in the Tri-Nations this autumn.
The Test hooker, Terry Newton, dislocated his thumb during Wigan's victory at London on Sunday and has been told that he will be out for four to six weeks.
That would not only rule him out of Wigan's play-offs, but would also make him touch and go for Britain's first game against Australia on 30 October. Along with St Helens' Keiron Cunningham and Matt Diskin of Leeds, Newton is certain to be one of the hooking options in Brian Noble's as yet unannounced 40-man squad for the tournament.
Two other likely members of his squad are under an injury cloud at Hull. Richard Horne is thought to have fractured his cheek bone at Salford on Sunday, but could play on in a specially made face mask, while Paul King, one of the best props in the country on current form, has medial ligament damage and will find out today how long he is likely to be out of action.
The York coach, Richard Agar, has been named as assistant to John Kear at Hull next season.
The battle for Super League survival has led to Castleford querying this weekend's fixture schedule. Widnes and Castleford are both playing on Saturday.
Castleford entertain mid-table Wakefield. Widnes, the only team that can finish below Castleford, take on Hull, who will know exactly what they have to do to secure second place, as their rivals Bradford, will have already played St Helens on Friday night.Reuse content