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Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Wellens injury saddens Sculthorpe
Paul Wellens will be sidelined for eight weeks
Wellens was kneed in the head by Brandon Costin
Paul Sculthorpe says he is "gutted" Paul Wellens will miss Great Britain's Test series against New Zealand.

Wellens received the news he did not want on Tuesday when he was told he had fractured his cheekbone.

The injury, sustained in the first two minutes of Saturday's Super League Grand Final, will sideline him for the next eight weeks.


Rugby league can be a cruel game sometimes
Paul Sculthorpe

"I am absolutely devastated for the lad because he is a champion bloke on and off the field," said St Helens team-mate Sculthorpe.

Wellens had been earmarked for the Great Britain full-back berth after Kris Radlinski was ruled out because of a wrist problem.

But his chance to emerge from the shadow of his Wigan rival was dashed when he was accidentally kneed in the face by Bradford's Brandon Costin at Old Trafford.

"The reason he got injured is because he is fully committed," said Sculthorpe.

"He went for a ball that not a lot of people would have gone for. It just shows you the bravery of the bloke."

Sculthorpe added: "Paul would definitely have been in the Great Britain team at full-back, but rugby league can be a cruel game sometimes.

"I know myself what it is like to get an injury like that, having broken my jaw.

"But for Paul to break his cheekbone after the season he has had - and in the biggest game of the year - is terrible.

"I am just gutted for him."

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