RUGBY LEAGUE: Betts cleared twice over

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The Independent Online
The Wigan and Great Britain forward, Denis Betts, has been cleared of involvement in the stolen charity cash affair and of his injury worries in time for his club's first match of the new year.

Betts is expected to be fit for tomorrow night's match against Warrington after recovering from an ankle injury. The same applies to their winger Jason Robinson, but the centre Va'aiga Tuigamala is ruled out with knee damage, with Henry Paul moving to centre and Paul Atcheson coming in at full-back.

Paul is clear to play because his sending-off for an alleged high tackle at St Helens on Boxing Day will not be considered until next Thursday.

Paul will plead not guilty, but Wigan are concerned about a recent record that includes two sin-binnings as well as the sending-off since the start of the recent purge on spoiling tactics at the play-the-ball.

Warrington have failed to sign the Featherstone centre Andy Currier in time to make his debut in the game and will pull out of the exchange deal that would involve Kevin Ellis and Rowland Phillips moving to the Yorkshire club if it cannot be finalised before the Challenge Cup signings deadline on Tuesday.

The two Welshmen are on loan until the end of the season at Workington and the club is keen to keep them.

Chris Rudd plays in the centres in place of one of Warrington's remaining Welshmen, the injured Allan Bateman.

The key match earlier in the day is at Leeds, where victory for Halifax could take them into second place in the First Division.

Leeds celebrated as though they had won the championship when they beat Wigan in their last home league match but the Halifax coach, Steve Simms, said : "A lot of things went their way that day.

"They moved the ball around pretty well, but they are either hot or cold and can be forced into mistakes."

Halifax take an unchanged side to Headingley, while Leeds hope to have Kevin Iro back on board.

St Helens will consider recalling their loose forward Sonny Nickle for their match at Widnes, after taking disciplinary action against him for going absent over Christmas. Alan Hunte and Paul Loughlin are on their way back through the reserve side.

Andy Gregory has declared himself fit for Salford's match at Bradford Northern, but Sam Panapa will miss only his second match since joining the club from Wigan last summer.

The former New Zealand Test player has been discharged from hospital following undergoing eye surgery after suffering an horrific injury in the Boxing Day match against Oldham.

He had part of his eyeball ripped by a fingernail in a tackle, but carried on playing despite not being able to see out of the eye. He will now be out of action for a month. "The surgeon told me I was fortunate not to lose the left eye," Panapa said.