Wigan praise for released Graham

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Wigan have released Nick Graham, the Australian back-rower who helped them through their mid-season injury crisis.

The former Cronulla player, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury himself, is expected to join Wests-Tigers for next season.

"Nick joined us at a time when we were ravaged by injury and we are grateful for his contribution," the Wigan chairman, Maurice Lindsay, said.

Wigan's experienced prop, Terry O'Connor, has announced he is standing down as Ireland's captain for this autumn's internationals, to ensure that he is fit for the start of next season.

"As captain of the side, it has been a difficult decision," O'Connor said. "It has been a long, hard season for everybody and I will require two minor operations if I am to be ready for the start of the new season." Ireland are left looking for a third-choice captain, after Leigh's Tommy Martyn also opted to concentrate on his club rugby.

Wigan continue their pursuit of second place in Super League tonight, with Adrian Lam out and Andy Farrell doubtful. Their opponents, Hull, still needing to make sure of a top-six finish, have two of their long-term injury victims, Scott Logan and Warren Jowitt, back in contention.

St Helens have denied the claim of the Hull coach, Shaun McRae, that their Great Britain loose forward, Paul Sculthorpe, is available for transfer for a £400,000 fee.

"I find it difficult to dignify such nonsense," Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus, said. "We have never received any enquiry about Sculthorpe's availability, for one simple reason - he is not available at any price."