Warrington Wolves could be without new front-row arrival Gil Dudson at the start of next season.
The much-travelled 32-year-old has been given a three-match ban for a headbutt during his final game for Catalans Dragons – the 20-10 home play-off defeat by Leeds.
And that could cost him a place in Wales’ World Cup squad, given that John Kear must weigh up whether it’s worth taking a player who could be unavailable for all three group games, against Cook Islands, Tonga and Papua New Guinea (it’s possible the warm-up match against Lebanon could count towards the suspension).
Cardiff-born Dudson, who has played 20 times for Wales, three of those appearances coming at the 2013 World Cup, admits his hopes of featuring in the finals for a second time are hanging by a thread.
The former Crusaders, Wigan, Widnes and Salford player has ended a two–season stint at Catalans, which included an appearance in last year’s Grand Final loss to St Helens (his third after featuring in Wigan’s win over Warrington in 2013 and Salford’s defeat by St Helens in 2019).
Dudson is among several new international pack signings for Warrington, with Catalans team-mate Sam Kasiano (New Zealand and Samoa), St George Illawarra Dragons’ Josh McGuire (Samoa and New Zealand) and Canterbury Bulldogs’ Paul Vaughan (Italy and Australia) all incoming.
Wolves coach Daryl Powell is under pressure to lead a climb up the table by a side that finished second-bottom this year, losing 18 out of 27 league games.
Four-times beaten Grand Finalists in the Super League era, Warrington are desperate to end a wait for a title triumph that stretches back to 1955.
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