Boost for Great Britain as Morley escapes ban

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The Independent Online

Adrian Morley is free to play for Great Britain in the remaining two Tests of the Ashes series after escaping suspension for his record-breaking sending-off in the first.

Morley was dismissed for the first tackle of the match ­ a high one on Australia's Robbie Kearns ­ in the first Test at Wigan on Saturday. But, at a hearing with the management of both sides represented last night, the Sydney Roosters forward was found guilty of a reckless high tackle, fined £2,000, but not suspended.

Morley, who was expected to be one of the key players in Great Britain's realistic hopes of winning the Ashes for the first time since 1970, was relieved. "It was a hard day for me on Saturday," he said. "Now I'm looking forward to getting back in training for the second Test and putting this behind me."

Gary Connolly is Britain's major injury doubt for the second Test at Hull on Saturday. The Leeds centre took a knock to the knee and will be nursed through training this week in the hope that he will be fit. If not, it could mean a first cap for Wakefield's Gareth Ellis, although St Helens' Martin Cleeson could be recalled to the squad.

The Great Britain coach, David Waite, was adamant that he would not be tempted to call up the Bradford utility back Leon Pryce, whose sentencing for unlawful wounding has been put back until 4 December by Teesside Crown Court.

Sean Long wants to give up the goalkicking role after limited success in the first Test. He missed one particularly easy shot at goal before handing over to the substitute, Paul Deacon.

Waite is surprised that Australia have called up Darren Smith now that Phil Bailey is out of the tour with a fractured eye-socket. He said: "I don't know how the other players chosen on the tour who believe they can play that right centre position would feel about it."

Australia have failed to find video evidence to support a charge against the Great Britain hooker, Terry Newton, for an alleged high tackle on Craig Fitzgibbon.

Swinton have approached Bobbie Goulding about playing for them next year. He has not played professionally since ending the 2002 season with Leigh.

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