Surgery ends Leeds career for Cummins

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The Independent Online

Leeds' longest serving and most durable player, Francis Cummins, believes he has played his last match for the club after being told he needs a knee reconstruction.

The 27-year-old winger, a fixture at Headingley for 11 years, will be out for six months and has not been offered a new contract for next season.

"I will be having the operation in two weeks and everything points to it being my last season here," said Cummins, who holds the club's record for consecutive games. He is now likely to have to prove his recovery before another Super League club commits itself to a long-term contract. Salford are among those who had been showing an interest in him.

York have appointed the Leeds back-room man, Mick Cook, as their coach in a new partnership between the two clubs. He replaces Richard Agar, who is leaving to become assistant to John Kear at Hull.

Cook will stand down as assistant first-team coach and Academy coach at Headingley, but will remain on their staff as well as being in charge at York.

"York are an ambitious club with big plans and I am keen to play my part in helping them to achieve those goals," he said.

Apart from the coaching overlap, there will be some interchange of players between the two clubs. The arrangement recalls the time that another club, Bramley, spent under Leeds' wing before dropping out of the League.

York have had their own problems in recent years, folding during the 2002 season, but re-forming last year and going into this Sunday's play-off against Workington just two victories away from winning promotion to National League One.

Wigan expect to be at full strength for their Super League play-off against Wakefield tomorrow night, but their Great Britain winger Brian Carney is not sure of a place even if he is fully recovered from a hamstring strain.

"He is back in contention, but the way Martin Aspinwall played last week dictates that he starts on the wing," said his coach, Denis Betts, who has Kris Radlinski clear to play despite a blow to the head against St Helens.

"We'll see how Brian trains this week, but his confidence is a bit shot to pieces at the moment."

Wakefield will give Sid Domic, ever-present and their leading try-scorer this season, until tomorrow morning to prove that he has got over a calf strain.