Wigan woes may cut short Robinson's spell at Castleford

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The Independent Online

Wigan are hoping to avoid calling Luke Robinson back from his loan at Castleford before the two clubs meet on Friday night.

The scrum-half is scheduled to spend the rest of the season with struggling Cas, but a knee injury to Adrian Lamb means that Wigan might need him themselves.

"I've spoken to Castleford and I'm genuinely trying not to rip their heart out,'' said the Wigan chairman, Maurice Lindsay. "But if push comes to shove and we're really on the ropes, we might have to bring him back.'' The club is waiting for the results of knee scans on Lamb and their prop, Craig Smith, before deciding on their next move.

They have already pulled two young forwards, Bryn Hargreaves and Paul Prescott, out of the Academy Tour to Australia which leaves next week and they hope that Kevin Brown could be ready to return after his broken leg to ease their half-back problems.

Wigan have failed in an attempt to persuade a majority of Super League clubs to change the 20/20 rule - under which each club is limited to 20 players earning more than £20,000 a year - for next year.

In the shorter term, Wigan might bring in an Australian-based Polynesian forward for the rest of the season. "It would be a case of him putting himself in the shop window, as Quentin Pongia did last season,'' said Lindsay.

Widnes will assess the applications for their vacant coaching position and draw up a shortlist at tonight's board meeting, but Stuart Spruce is likely to remain in charge as caretaker for this Sunday's game against Wakefield.

Stuart Fielden and his club, Bradford, have both dismissed suggestions that he might be released to play in Australia before his current contract ends in 2008.

The Rugby League and the British Amateur Rugby League Association are looking into reports that the recent amateur tour of Australia finished in indiscipline and disarray.

One player was fined £800 by a court for assault and he and three others were sent home early last week following a fight in a night-club after the defeat by an Australian Aboriginal side. The tour party was then involved in a fire on a boat trip and called off their final match because they were unable to raise a team - the first time that Barla has failed to fulfil a fixture in three decades of touring.

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