Rugby League: Wigan wait on Edwards

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The Independent Online
JOHN DORAHY'S worries at Wigan have been compounded by the likely absence of Shaun Edwards from the vital Stones Bitter Championship match against Warrington today, writes Dave Hadfield.

Edwards was unable to train yesterday because of a heavy cold, and is rated extremely doubtful.

If Edwards is ruled out, Frano Botica will move to scrum- half with Nigel Wright coming in at stand-off, but Dorahy freely admits that reshuffling his half-backs is the last thing he wants to do before such a crucial match.

The regular second-row forward, Andrew Farrell, is also doubtful after picking up a dead-leg in the early stages of Good Friday's victory at St Helens. Neil Cowie is his probable replacement, but a bonus is that Denis Betts is available for the first time since November and he may well be on the bench.

Warrington will be without their wingman, Rob Myler, who dislocated his shoulder during the win over Widnes on Friday that kept them in touch.

Iestyn Harris and Chris Rudd are the likely candidates to replace Myler as Warrington try to maintain their impressive record at Central Park under their coach, Brian Johnson.

The match will be played against a backdrop of continuing political in-fighting at Wigan. Dave Whelan, who played at full-back for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup Final before making a fortune in business, has come out with his first public statement of intent, saying that he wants to plough pounds 7m into Wigan.

Dorahy has been highly critical of a faction within the club that wants to see Whelan, a former club sponsor and president, take over and which has, he says, made his job considerably more difficult that it would have been.

Speculation is rife, both in Britain and Australia, about Dorahy's future, but he said: 'I find it amazing that a coach who has got the team to the Regal Trophy final, to Wembley and, after Friday, into the driving seat in the First Division should find himself under this political pressure.'