Rugby League: Hasler set to play through mystery virus: Tests for scrum-half

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The Independent Online
DES HASLER, Hull's scrum- half and organiser, has been for blood tests in an attempt to solve the mystery of a virus that has affected him for the last six weeks. Hasler, the former Australian international, hopes to find out what has been wrong with him by the end of the week, but says that he is determined to play against Wigan in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup on Sunday come what may.

'I'm still waiting for the results,' he said. 'It has been a really unusual thing which has affected me on and off for almost seven weeks. I went down with it again before the match against Warrington at the weekend, but I got myself dosed up and tried to carry on.'

'He was still one of our best players,' the Hull coach, Royce Simmons, said, 'but we are anxious to find out what is wrong.'

Hasler is adamant that he will play against Wigan regardless of what the tests reveal. 'There is no way I'm going to miss this one,' he said. 'It's a match I've been looking forward to ever since the draw.'

Simmons is less optimistic about two other players who missed the Warrington defeat - his full-back, Richard Gay, and the Australian centre, James Grant. Both have ankle injuries and the Hull coach rates them as 'no better than 50-50'.

Simmons, Hasler and Grant are all talking to the club about contracts for next season. Among the potential complications are offers to Hasler from several Winfield Cup clubs - a tribute to his general fitness, viruses apart, at the age of 33 - and Simmons' concern about the Sydney restaurant business in which he is a partner.

Leeds have confirmed that the Great Britain captain and stand-off, Garry Schofield, will play scrum-half in Saturday's tie against Warrington.

Second Division Keighley have been told that they must raise their prices to pounds 6 for Sunday's cup tie against Castleford. Their First Division opponents asked the Rugby League for a ruling after insisting that tickets for the 5,800 sell-out should be more expensive than Keighley's normal pounds 5. Gate receipts in cup matches are split down the middle.

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