Rugby League: Hall set for return to Wigan squad

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The Independent Online
Martin Hall, the Welsh international hooker who thought his Wigan career was over, is back in the squad for the Boxing Day and New Year's Day games against St Helens.

Hall has a three-year contract with the Australian Rugby League, which starts next season, but as he is still in England Graeme West, the Wigan coach, has invited him back.

"He is still registered with Wigan and he was training on his own, so I asked him if he would like to come down," West said.

Hall, who is still waiting for the ARL to assign him a club, could now solve Wigan's problems at hooker for the games against Saints. Mick Cassidy, the player earmarked as Hall's replacement in the role, is recovering from a knee operation and Wigan have no other experienced hooker.

Andy Farrell, the Wigan and Great Britain captain, has been forced to abandon a week's commando course in Devon in order to see a specialist about the hip injury that troubled him during the latter stages of the Lions' tour of New Zealand.

Leeds have continued their rebuilding by signing the forward Jamie Mathiou from the North Queensland Cowboys.

The capture of Mathiou, 6ft 1in and 16st, came 24 hours after the arrival of the Sheffield trio of Ryan Sheridan, Dean Lawford and Andrew Farrell.

Mathiou, a former Australian schoolboy international, will fly in next week and make his debut against Halifax on Boxing Day.

Gary Hetherington, the Leeds chief executive, said: "Jamie will prove a big asset to our squad and he is further proof of our intention to be competing on equal terms with our competitors in Super League next year."