Sculthorpe likely to join Wigan

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The Independent Online

Rochdale are resigned to losing their prop, Danny Sculthorpe, with Wigan the favourites to sign the England Under-21 vice-captain.

The younger brother of Great Britain's Paul impressed for the Hornets last season and on the recent Under-21 tour to South Africa.

"He is going," admitted the Rochdale coach, the former Wigan hooker, Martin Hall. "We can't hold him back and it's just a question of where he goes. It needs to be somewhere where he is surrounded by players of international standard."

The Hornets have turned down a bid from the London Broncos, but Wigan look certain to get him. They have signed the New Zealand prop, Craig Smith, but the retirement of Neil Cowie and the impending departure of Francis Stephenson, who is interesting Salford, still leaves a vacancy that Sculthorpe could fill.

Wigan have drafted six of their junior players into the first-team squad for next season. Ricky Bibey, Martin Aspinwall and Steven Wilde have all had Super League experience, while Luke Robinson, Stuart Jones and Sean O'Loughlin have been told they will get a chance at that level next season.

Wakefield have made two new signings – the Brisbane Broncos' reserve-grade prop, Damon Keating, and Warrington's goal-kicking back-rower, Ian Knott – whilst Diane Rogerson has been appointed the chief executive officer.

Allan Langer could be having second thoughts about making a comeback with Brisbane. A press conference to announce that he was rejoining the Broncos after supposedly retiring at Warrington last season has been cancelled.

Halifax are reverting to Sunday afternoon kick-offs, rather than evenings, after polling their fans.

Bradford say that a £500,000, three year sponsorship deal with the local car dealers, JCT 600, will help them to step up their community programmes.

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