Wigan will not be saved from relegation by an expansion of Super League to 13 teams for next season, the Rugby League has revealed.
A meeting of clubs has put paid to any hopes of back-door salvation by agreeing that the RFL should have a veto over any change to the number of clubs. There are plans to expand to 14 clubs in 2009, but the League has no plans to fast-track its expansion at a time when that would be seen as a device to keep Wigan in the top flight.
Wigan, four points adrift at the foot of the table, have already rejected suggestions that they might "bribe" the winners of National League 1 to refuse promotion and say that they are determined to play their way to safety.
They must try to do that without their former Great Britain squad member, Kevin Brown, who has gone to Huddersfield on loan for the rest of the season as Wigan strive to get within their salary cap. He goes into the squad for Sunday's game against Leeds.
The St Helens and Great Britain captain, Paul Sculthorpe, might not play again until September after being told that he tore his medial ligament against New Zealand on Tuesday.
Sculthorpe has a 90 per cent tear in his left knee and will be out for six to eight weeks. That rules him out of Saints' Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull KR on 29 July.Reuse content