RUGBY LEAGUE: Wigan deny code switch by Farrell

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The Independent Online
WIGAN AND the Rugby Football League have said they are unaware of any plans to persuade Andy Farrell and Kris Radlinski to switch codes to play for England in the 2007 World Cup.

Reports suggested that the players are being targeted by the Rugby Football Union, but 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."

The RFL, which part-financed Radlinski's five-year contract in 2001, also said there had been no approach, adding that there would be no question of top-up payments to try to retain the pair.

Radlinski is starting a testimonial season and is unlikely to be interested in switching codes. Although Farrell was not commenting yesterday, an intermediary approached on his behalf by the RFU said that he had not completely dismissed the idea.

Farrell, who would be 32 by the time of the World Cup, is out for the first three months of this season following knee surgery. Radlinski, a year younger, 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. The home side are without Shaun Briscoe with a groin injury. Motu Tony, the New Zealand international signed from Castleford, gets an early chance to show his versatility after being drafted in at full-back.

Wakefield's latest recruit, Julian O'Neill, is in line to make his debut at Bradford, along with Trinity's other new signings, Sam Obst and Andy Kirk. Bradford include two 18-year-olds, Matt Cook and Karl Pryce, in their 20-man squad, along with Karl Pratt, who is easing his way back after a shoulder operation.

London have no fewer than 11 potential debutants in their squad for the visit of Warrington, who have Martin Gleeson, Toa Kohe-Love and Logan Swann listed to make debuts.

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