Rugby League: Wigan face Saints and vote on future

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The Independent Online
This is, whichever way you look at it, a big weekend for Wigan, with moves towards deciding their future today followed tomorrow by the sort of match that has enlivened their past.

A shareholders' meeting at Central Park this afternoon will vote on three ground options. They are: selling their present stadium to the Wigan Athletic chairman, Dave Whelan, who will develop it for joint use; building a new ground in Wigan; or moving in with Bolton Wanderers at their new stadium in Horwich.

Wigan's directors, who hold the majority of the shares, say they will decide on their course of action after today's votes are counted.

Calculating the outcome of the Norweb Winter Challenge will be more straightforward. Wigan go into the delayed second leg at St Helens tomorrow with a 10-point lead carried over from Boxing Day.

That will not look an insurmountable handicap to Saints on their own ground and with four important players back in their side after missing the first match.

Wigan, on the other hand, field a team similar to the one that overcame the absence of a number of first-team regulars at Central Park.

The one returnee is Simon Haughton, who has recovered from a groin operation. He replaces Steve Holgate in the starting line-up, Holgate taking a place on the bench alongside Nigel Wright, who missed the first leg with flu.

In another pre-season workout, Featherstone fans will get their first look at the three new signings from Leeds - Lee Maher, Paddy Handley and Paul Gleadhill - against Hunslet today.

Hull KR, who beat Hunslet to promotion from the Second Division last season, have been served with a winding-up order by the Inland Revenue, which is claiming almost pounds 250,000 in unpaid tax. The club is to apply for an administration order on Monday.

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