Centurions set to select Hock for Cup clash

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Championship leaders Leigh are on a collision course with Super League neighbours Salford over former England international Gareth Hock.

The Centurions look set to defy an agreement struck between Hock and his former club by playing him in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth-round tie against the Super League club at the Leigh Sports Village.

Salford owner Marwan Koukash has insisted the former England forward cannot play against them after signing a “compromise agreement” when he negotiated a release from his contract in March.

But Leigh say they were unaware of the private agreement when they signed the player and, after taking legal advice, announced on Tuesday that Hock will be made available to coach Paul Rowley.

A statement said: “Following recent media speculation surrounding Gareth Hock’s availability for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie against Salford Red Devils on Saturday 18 April 2015, Leigh Centurions and Gareth have sought legal advice and on the basis of that advice consider that Gareth will be available for selection for the match.”

A spokesman for the Rugby Football League confirmed that Hock is a registered Leigh player and that they have no plans to intervene in the matter.