Rugby League: O'Neill facing cap or cup dilemma: Widnes may summon Australian for the Challenge Cup final

Dave Hadfield
Tuesday 20 April 1993 23:02
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Widnes have put Julian O'Neill, the Australian utilty back, on stand-by for the Challenge Cup final on 1 May, but the uncertainty of that call could leave him with the most difficult of decisions, writes Dave Hadfield.

O'Neill, who played 11 games on loan for Widnes earlier this season, is now back with his club, the Brisbane Broncos. His form for them at full- back has been so good that he is being widely tipped to win his first cap for Queensland in the State of Origin match against New South Wales just two days after Wembley.

O'Neill could be called up for both games and would have to make the choice between them. Brisbane have already said that they will allow him to come to Britain.

Whether he is offered the chance depends on Widnes' bill of health after their Premiership first-round tie against Leeds on Sunday. The main concerns in the backs are Stuart Spruce (dead leg) and David Myers and Darren Wright (strained hamstrings).

Wigan will be without Billy McGinty, who needs another knee operation, for the final. Frano Botica has broken his thumb and will miss the Premiership match against Warrington, but he will be fit for Wembley.

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