Injured Morley fears for Tri-Nations

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The Independent Online

Great Britain's most dangerous forward, Adrian Morley, is likely to miss this autumn's Tri-Nations after being told he needs surgery on a wrist injury.

Morley has damaged ligaments in his left wrist and, although he will carry on playing for Sydney Roosters, he plans to have an operation at the end of the Australian season. "I've been told it's a 12-week recovery period," he said. The earliest he could have the operation would be the start of September, with Great Britain's Tri-Nations beginning against New Zealand in Christchurch on 28 October.

Morley is out of contract at Sydney at the end of the season and Warrington head the line-up of British clubs that would be prepared to spend big money to bring him home.

New South Wales'fourth-choice scrum-half, Brett Finch, a team-mate of Morley at Sydney, brought NSW a last-gasp 17-16 victory over Queensland in the first State of Origin match in Sydney yesterday. With Craig Gower, Matt Orford and Andrew Johns unavailable, Finch put over a drop goal two minutes from time to snuff out Queensland's fightback.

A crowd of over 72,000 had seen NSW dominate the first half with tries from Finch, Matt King and Willie Mason, but the Maroons came back through Greg Inglis (two) and Steven Bell. When Johnathan Thurston landed a second conversion from the touchline, Queensland were level with three minutes to play, but NSW and Finch kept their nerve.

Melbourne are showing interest in Chev Walker, who turned down Leeds' offer of a new contract this week.

St Helens have named Sean Long in their squad to face Wigan on Saturday, but might rest him. Long has a recurring thigh injury and his coach, Daniel Anderson, is reluctant to risk him with a Challenge Cup quarter-final a week later.

Hull's promising 18-year-old half-back, Tommy Lee, gets his first chance to impress his new coach Peter Sharp on Sunday against Huddersfield. The academy international will start, with the regular incumbent, Danny Brough, relegated to the Under-21s.

The Harlequins captain, Mark McLinden, has agreed a new three-year contract and been cleared of a suspected broken hand.

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