Wilkin sidelined by Cup head clash

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The Independent Online

St Helens' Cup final hero, Jon Wilkin, has been told that he has no case to answer over a suspected high tackle at Twickenham, but will still miss Friday night's return to Super League action against Wakefield.

Wilkin was placed on report for a second-half tackle on Huddersfield's Stuart Donlan, a blemish on a performance in which he scored two tries and ran Sean Long close for the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match.

The second-rower broke his nose in a clash of heads with his team-mate, Paul Anderson, and that injury will keep him out on Friday, along with the hamstrung Willie Talau, although Wilkin could be fit to face Leeds the following weekend. His replacement this week could be Mike Bennett, who missed the Cup final after making just three appearances this season because of a shoulder injury, but who has agreed a two-year contract extension.

"I've been unlucky with injuries this season," the 26-year-old England forward said. "I'm determined to have a strong finish to the season and get back into the first-choice 17."

Saints' coach, Daniel Anderson, has dismissed reports linking him with the vacancy at the Sydney Roosters as mere speculation. "There has been no contact with the Roosters at all," said Anderson, who did admit that it remains his ambition to coach in his native Australia.

His agent, Jim Branagan, also said that there had been no approach from the Roosters, who sacked their coach, Ricky Stuart, this week. "I've had no contact... from the Sydney Roosters and I would be surprised if we do," he said.

Anderson is still regarded in Australia as the favourite for the job, but Jason Taylor, who took over from Brian Smith at Parramatta in mid-season, is also being linked with the position.

The relegation-threatened Wakefield could give a debut to their controversial late-season signing, Tevita Latu, at Knowsley Road. The former Cronulla hooker is due to fly in today after completing a 200-hour community service order imposed in Sydney for breaking a woman's nose.

Latu was sacked by Cronulla and de-registered by the National Rugby League, and had to return to Australia when he first arrived in Britain without having served his sentence.

Leeds could be without Willie Poching for the rest of the season. The influential forward has damaged a knee in training and will be out for five to six weeks. The first match he will miss will be on Friday against Warrington, who could also be without their Australian utility back, Brent Grose, for the remainder of the season with a similar injury.

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