RUGBY LEAGUE: Door left open for Farrell code switch

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The Independent Online
THE WIGAN and Great Britain captain, Andy Farrell, has left the door open for a possible switch to rugby union in time to play in the 2007 World Cup.

Farrell and his team-mate, Kris Radlinski, were identified this week as targets for the RFU as England try to shore up their squad for the tournament.

While the possibility of Radlinski signing has been dismissed by the player, Farrell is believed to be ready for a new challenge. Although he was making no comment yesterday, a source close to him, who fielded the original inquiry about his availability two months ago, said: "Something might happen. He certainly hasn't ruled it out.''

Farrell is under contract to Wigan until the end of the 2006 season, but the theory is that the RFU will try to buy out his contract for next year.

Those close to Farrell are reconciled to the possibility of him making the switch, even though he will be 32 by the time of the next rugby union World Cup. Both the Rugby League and Wigan have denied any knowledge of an approach for the leading British rugby league player of his generation, but there may be an announcement within the next few days of his plans beyond this season.

Wigan's spokesman, Graham Emmerson, said: "They are both under contract for the next two years and there has been no approach of any kind."

Radlinski is starting a testimonial season and is unlikely to be interested in switching codes. Farrell is out for the first three months of this season following knee surgery. Radlinski, a year younger than Farrell, makes his comeback from a back injury in Wigan's opening Super League match at home to Salford tonight.

The champions, Leeds, go to Hull with the same side that beat the Australian champions, Canterbury, last Friday night. The home side are without Shaun Briscoe with a groin injury.