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Virus forces Salford star Dan Sarginson out of Challenge Cup final

Positive test: Dan Sarginson PICTURE: GETTY

STAR man Dan Sarginson has been ruled out of Salford’s first Challenge Cup final for 51 years after contracting coronavirus.

The Australian’s absence is a huge blow to the Red Devils who only revealed the identity of the two players who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week when coach Ian Watson named his 21-man squad yesterday.

The virus will also prevent prop Jack Ormondroyd from facing former club Leeds Rhinos at an empty Wembley tomorrow.

‘Everyone at Salford Red Devils would like to give a massive show of gratitude to Sarginson and Ormondroyd for their tremendous contributions throughout the season,’ Salford said in a statement.

‘Both have shown exceptional professionalism and support for team-mates throughout the testing process. All other players have returned negative results, following multiple rounds of testing.’

Sarginson, a Grand Final winner with Wigan in 2016 and 2018, scored the extra-time match-winning try in Salford’s quarter-final win against Catalans Dragons and was a key man in their semi-final victory over holders Warrington. He had been cleared to play at Wembley after avoiding a ban for a dangerous tackle in a league game against Huddersfield.

The specialist centre’s absence is partly eased by the return of Niall Evalds, for whom Sarginson had been deputising at full-back. Evalds, who is joining Castleford for next season, has recovered from a knee injury that saw him miss Salford’s last six matches.

Co-captains Lee Mossop and Mark Flanagan are in the squad along with tough-tackling forward Luke Yates, who missed the semi-final through suspension.