Lowes in the dock after confronting referee

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The Independent Online

The Bradford and Great Britain hooker James Lowes has been ordered to appear before the Rugby League's new disciplinary and compliance unit to face charges of verbally abusing the referee Karl Kirkpatrick during Saturday's defeat by Wigan.

Lowes was penalised for dissent during the game and television cameras showed him conducting a verbal running battle with Kirkpatrick.

The high-powered unit - set up recently to tackle offences outside the normal spectrum of foul play - will also investigate allegations that Lowes' behaviour continued after the final hooter and that he had to be restrained from confronting Kirkpatrick in the dressing-room area.

It is understood that the referee's report includes both incidents, which could mean that Lowes, who has a long history of confrontation with officialdom, faces a stiff punishment.

In a decision unrelated to this latest controversy, Lowes has asked not to be considered for the Yorkshire side for the Origin Match against Lancashire next week when it is named today.

The absence of the current Great Britain hooker, who played against New Zealand last year, makes Leeds' Matt Diskin the likely No 9 in Graham Steadman's team.

Another Great Britain forward, Terry O'Connor, has also asked not to be considered for Lancashire's side for the match at Odsal. The Wigan prop has retired from international rugby, so does not believe that he should play in what is essentially a Test trial.

O'Connor has urged the Lancashire coach, Paul Cullen, to pick his Wigan team-mate, Danny Sculthorpe, as his replacement. The younger brother of St Helens' and Great Britain's Paul Sculthorpe, he has made rapid progress this year after having his first season at Wigan ruined by injury.

The Warriors' former utility back, Wes Davies, is returning to rugby league with Salford. The grandson of the legendary Billy Boston, Davies had left Wigan for rugby union side Orrell. The 25-year-old has joined Salford for the rest of the season and their director of rugby, Steve Simms, said that his versatility will be useful during the National League One promotion run-in.

Anthony Seuseu, the forward from New Zealand released by Halifax, has joined Doncaster, along with PJ Solomon, who had been playing for the London Broncos.

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