Warrington snap up Gleeson

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The Independent Online

Warrington are set to announce the signing today of the St Helens and Great Britain centre, Martin Gleeson.

Warrington are set to announce the signing today of the St Helens and Great Britain centre, Martin Gleeson.

The Wolves have called a press conference at which they are expected to confirm a coup which will come as a sickening blow to the Saints' coach, Ian Millward.

Gleeson will not be able to play for his new club until next season, because he is currently serving a four-month ban imposed by the Rugby Football League after he was found guilty of betting against his own team on Easter Monday.

But Millward has stressed several times that he does not want to lose Gleeson, whom he has described as, "the one player the Australians are frightened of''. Gleeson, aged 24, joined Saints from Huddersfield in 2002. By the end of that season, he was established in the Great Britain team and would have been an automatic selection for the Tri-Nations tournament this autumn, were it not for the betting scandal.

Saints, for all their success during the Super League era are known to be financially stretched. The transfer of Gleeson, who is under a long-term contract, will bring in £200,000 as well as taking his wages off the books next season. They will deny, however, that he is being sold to reduce the club's debt.

Like his fellow miscreant, Sean Long ­ who has been the subject of interest from the rugby union side Sale Sharks ­ he is not being paid by the club during his suspension.

Beleaguered Saints have a doubt over Keiron Cunningham at Leeds tonight, as well as being without Paul Sculthorpe, whose thigh muscle injury will keep him out for six weeks. Leeds have Matt Diskin, Keith Senior, and Willie Poching back to strengthen the side that surprisingly dropped a point against London Broncos last week.

Castleford have taken Matt Gardner, the brother of St Helens' Ade, on loan from Leeds for a month and he will go straight into the side at Wigan tonight.

Luke Robinson, recalled from his loan at Cas this week, has his chance to earn himself a future at Wigan. Robinson goes straight into the team in place of the injured Adrian Lam, with Sean O'Loughlin moving to stand-off in place of another absentee, Danny Orr.

Wigan now have no experienced specialist props fit and are likely to have three teenage forwards ­ Harrison Hansen, Bryn Hargreaves and Paul Prescott ­ on the bench.