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Well tonight Super League is back.
It kicks off with a local derby as the Widnes Vikings take on the Wigan Warriors. Both teams are coached by former Wigan teammates. Two hardmen of the sport. We don't have any of those, so we sent Chris Hall to meet them.
Wigan Warriors have released the first images of the brand new home kit that will be worn by the team in 2015.
The club says the new shirt reverts to a traditional Cherry and White design, inspired by the shirt worn 50 years ago in the 1965 Challenge Cup Final win over Hunslet - a game widely regarded as one of the best Finals of all time.
In tribute to the game, the shirt features narrow Cherry & White hoops with the famous Wigan Crest on a black patch.
For the first time in five years the replica kit will have a black collar, an element which has been specifically requested by fans over recent years.
Speaking about the new kit Rugby General Manager Kris Radlinski said:
“We are really happy with the design and quality of the new shirt, which takes inspiration from the 1965 Challenge Cup winning side. It is great that we can celebrate 50 years since that memorable game.”
Wigan Warriors have re-signed Lee Mossop on a three-year deal. Mossop, a product of the Wigan Warriors Academy, made his debut in 2008 before going on to make 111 appearances for the Wigan Club.
He left last year to join Parramatta Eels in the NRL for the 2014 season and has been released from his contract with the Eels to assist with salary cap and joins the Warriors with immediate effect. Having had advanced surgery to both shoulders in the past 12 months, Lee will continue his recovery with Wigan and is scheduled to be match fit in late February. The 25-year-old Prop Forward joins Joel Tomkins in returning to the Warriors recently having spent time elsewhere.
We've been made aware of abusive social media activity about the Rugby League Grand Final.Please be reassured that we are looking into this.
The Rugby Football League has announced that Wigan's Ben Flower has been handed a six-month ban for punching Lance Hohaia of St Helens in Saturday's Super League Grand Final.
Lance Hohaia has accepted a one-match ban for his forearm strike which sparked the punches from Ben Flower during Saturday's Super League Grand Final between St Helens and Wigan.
Hohaia,who caught Flower off the ball, was knocked to the ground by the Wigan prop's first punch and then lay motionless as Flower landed a second on his face.
Flower will face a Rugby Football League disciplinary tribunal on Tuesday evening, which carries anything from an eight-match ban.
St Helens will wait for the verdict on Ben Flower after his punch on Lance Hohaia before deciding whether to take the matter further.
The Wigan forward was handed a Grade F charge, the most severe option open to the Rugby Football League's match-review panel, for the punches that marred Saturday's Super League Grand Final.
The Wales international can expect a ban of eight matches or more when he appears in front of a disciplinary tribunal at the RFL's headquarters in Leeds on Tuesday evening, and Saints will await the outcome with interest after meeting with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) about the incident.
St Helens chief executive Mike Rush said: "I can confirm I have spoken to the police but we will allow the RFL to carry out their due process before making any further comment."
A police spokesman said the GMP will also be in consultation with the RFL and, if appropriate the Crown Prosecution Service, in order to decide what, if any, action to take.
Rush pointed out that any decision to take legal action would be ultimately be made by Hohaia, who insisted in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's 14-6 win over the Warriors that he bore no grudges against Flower.
Hohaia, who went to see a specialist and to have scans on his cheekbone on Monday afternoon, was also charged by the match-review panel for striking the first blow that sparked the furore at Old Trafford.
The former New Zealand international was handed a grade B charge, which carries a ban of one or two matches, and is eligible to submit an early-guilty plea to accept the lower sanction and avoid a hearing.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan has confirmed that his club will accompany Flower to the hearing but re-affirmed their backing for the tough stance taken by the RFL.
"We think it's the right level of charge," Lenagan said. "We will be there to support him but not in any way to argue that his actions were reasonable or allowable.
"We make it very clear that Ben's actions on Saturday were not the actions we want of a Wigan player or of any rugby league player. Ben acknowledged that and he is devastated by the damage his actions have caused.
"If you had seen Ben crying his eyes out on Saturday following the realisation of what his actions had done and the terrible nature of that second punch in particular, you would see the lad was devastated."
Wigan rugby legend Martin Offiah says there's been an over reaction to Ben Flower's attack on Lance Hohaia in the Super League grand final.
The Wigan prop was sent off in the third minute and faces at least an eight match ban.
Hohaia has also been charged with striking. Greater Manchester Police is investigating.
Flower's attack on Hohaia in only the second minute completely overshadowed Saints' 14-6 victory over the defending champions at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the prop's double punch receiving widespread criticism.
His charge carries a minimum eight-game match ban although the RFL could opt to give the 26-year-old an even longer suspension.
Hohaia, unlike Flower, has the option of submitting an early guilty plea by 11am on Tuesday, with his charge carrying a ban of between one and two matches.
The 31-year-old instigated proceedings and Flower took exception to an apparent use of a forearm by blatantly punching the former New Zealand international to the ground with a right hook before landing another punch to the face as his opponent lay motionless on the pitch.
Flower will have his hearing on Tuesday evening in front of an independent disciplinary tribunal in Leeds and St Helens may wait until then before deciding whether to take any legal action themselves after being incensed over the incident.
While Hohaia appeared to bear no grudges towards Flower, saying "people do some things they regret", Saints chief executive Mike Rush is keen for normal disciplinary procedure to take place.
"It did look bad and there is no place for that," Rush said. "We'll wait for the league to take the appropriate steps before passing comment and we will then consider our position.
"When Lance was knocked out on the floor, to get another punch to the head was probably what the fans and the public didn't like seeing.
"Leading up to that, you know rugby is a combative sport and ferocious, but obviously once Lance has hit the deck, what went on afterwards was sad to see."