Matautia free for Challenge Cup final

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

St Helens' Western Samoan forward, Vila Matautia, will be able to play in the Challenge Cup final after escaping with a one-match punishment for his sending-off against Bradford Bulls last Sunday.

The disciplinary committee ruled that Matautia had raised his forearm to Bradford's Simon Knox, but that minimal contact had been made. He will miss Sunday's match at Halifax but, like the Bulls' Sonny Nickle, who was placed on report in the same match, is clear to play at Wembley next Saturday.

The Leeds forward, George Mann, has been suspended for three matches after being cited on video evidence by the League's management committee over a high, late tackle in the defeat at Oldham.

Mann's ban starts with Sunday's game at home to Sheffield Eagles, when Leeds will also be without the injured Mick Shaw and Neil Harmon from their pack. Their new signing from New Zealand, Nathan Picchi, will come into consideration.

Wigan's Great Britain winger, Jason Robinson, has asked for a transfer after failing to get his contract improved. Robinson, who is due to join the Australian when his contract expires in June 1997, has failed to persuade the club to revise his current deal.

The player has said that he might not play in tonight's match against Bradford Bulls because of a neck injury sustained in last weekend's victory at Castleford. The board will discuss his request today or tomorrow.

Bradford, in their last match before Wembley, welcome back Jeremy Donougher to their side after his recovery from the neck injury that he suffered at Sheffield on Good Friday.