Academy players deny rape charge

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Two current and one former Wigan Warriors Academy players have appeared before a judge to deny charges of rape.

Lewis Heckford, 19, and Declan O’Donnell, 18, along with former teammate Bradley Lawrence, 20, were released on bail after the Bolton Crown Court hearing pending the start of their trial there which is scheduled for June 5.

O’Donnell, of Concorde Avenue, Wigan, also faces two counts of sexual assault which he also denies.

He and Heckford, of Malvern Mews, Wakefield, and Lawrence, of Causeway Road, Seaton, Workington, are accused in relation to an alleged incident in 2015.