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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2011

New Wigan signing Brett Finch facing surgery

Brett Finch
Finch signed with Wigan last July, along with two Melbourne team-mates

Wigan's Australian half-back Brett Finch will miss the start of the season after the new signing suffered a neck injury that will need surgery.

Warriors coach Michael Maguire said: "Brett will require surgery this week.

"This news is a blow to the club and to the player. As yet, we're unsure of how long he will be on the sidelines but he will miss the start of the season.

"Brett is a great character," added Maguire. "He'll look to bounce back as soon as possible."

Finch, 29, chose Wigan ahead of Hull Kingston Rovers, when he signed last July, along with his two fellow Melbourne team-mates Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Lima.

The other two Aussie signings have all been named by champions Wigan in a 20-man squad for Sunday's opening pre-season friendly against Salford at The Willows.

But, as well as their long-term absentee, last season's record-breaking top points scorer Pat Richards who tore his Achilles in the Grand Final win over St Helens, Martin Gleeson (calf strain) and Sam Tomkins (groin) are both missing.

"The boys are really looking forward to their first competitive action of 2011," said Maguire.

"Salford will provide a great test for us. Pre-season games are vitally important."

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