Morley's Down Under doubt

Adrian Morley's long-term future in Australia has been thrown into doubt following a drink-driving conviction during his recent time off at his old home in Salford.

The Great Britain forward's visa has expired and he is applying for permanent residency in Australia, where he has played for the last three years with the Sydney Roosters. His application could be affected by the latest incident, as well as by an assault conviction from several years ago.

However, Morley's manager, Martin Tauber, denied reports that the player had also been involved in a scuffle with the police during his stay.

"Adrian's had some problems over there," he said. "He was caught drink-driving. He started hanging around with some of his old mates and fell into some bad ways." Morley, who was sent off after 12 seconds of the first Test against Australia in November, is on his way back to Australia, where he is contracted to the Roosters for the next three seasons.

Tauber said that immigration lawyers were already working on his behalf and that he was confident of him having a visa and being cleared to play by the start of the Australian season on 12 March.

"This incident should not interfere with his ability to take part in this year's NRL competition," he added.

Any threat to his ability to play in Australia would alert all the leading British clubs, particularly his old employers at Leeds, who have made no secret of their desire to re-sign him, if and when he returns to England.

The Rhinos won their second pre-season game yesterday, beating Hunslet 40-10 in the revival of the Lazenby Cup in front of a capacity 2,500 crowd at the South Leeds Stadium. Chev Walker, recently released from a young offenders' institution and playing with an electronic tag, scored two tries, as did Johnny Wainhouse, the hooker who was player of the season in Leeds' Under-21 side last year.

Warrington launched Mark Hilton's testimonial year by beating Leigh 34-16 at Wilderspool with their winger Dean Gaskell claiming a hat-trick and Brent Grose crossing twice.

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