Wigan seek Kiwi to fill front-row breach

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The Independent Online

Wigan have lined up Jerry Seuseu as their latest battle-hardened front-rower from New Zealand, but he will not join them until next year.

The club's chairman, Maurice Lindsay, is understood to have reached an agreement in principle with the Kiwi Test prop that he will come to Britain in 2005, when his contract with the New Zealand Warriors expires.

The 29-year-old Seuseu is seen as a badly-needed reinforcement for a pack which could lose three international props - Terry O'Connor, Craig Smith and Quentin Pongia - at the end of this season.

"Mick Cassidy is also in the last year of his contract, so that could be a back-up prop going as well; so it is a bit of a worry for us," Lindsay said. "We thought we had better plan ahead and move quickly."

Half the match tickets for the World Club Challenge between Bradford and Penrith on 13 February have already been sold. Advance sales for the match at the McAlpine Stadium have passed the 12,000 mark.

Penrith's chief executive, Shane Richardson, stressed how seriously the Panthers were taking the game. "We went as far as resting some players from the World Sevens so that they would be fresh."

Adrian Morley will not face an extra punishment over his drink-driving conviction. The Sydney Roosters and Great Britain forward apologised and made a donation of £500 to the League's charitable arm.

Liam Botham has been named in Leeds' team to play Hull in Lee Jackson's testimonial tomorrow. Botham is on a one year dual-code contract with the Rhinos and the Tykes.