Rugby League: Captain Bell rings off at Wigan

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DEAN BELL, the Wigan captain, has played his last game for the club, writes Dave Hadfield. Bell has opted out of the Premiership play-offs and the World Club Challenge in Brisbane because of an accumulation of injuries.

His appearance in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley 10 days ago was thus the swansong of an eight-season career with Wigan. 'There is no better way to go out,' he said.

As well as a groin problem, Bell has been playing with painkilling injections in an injured hand and has a shoulder injury which needs surgery.

'I pushed myself to be right for the championship run-in and for Wembley,' said Bell, who is due to join Auckland Warriors in July, 'but I would be doing myself or the team no good by trying to play again.'

Wigan have played down speculation that Graham Lowe could return as coach to succeed John Dorahy. Lowe was a huge success in the job from 1986-89, but is now in poor health.