Waite forced to replace Walker and Bailey after pair decide not to appeal

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The Independent Online

David Waite, the Great Britain coach, has decided against any immediate move to replace Chev Walker and Ryan Bailey in his squad to face Australia in the Ashes series even though it now seems likely that the pair will not be appealing against their sentences for violent disorder.

Walker was sent to a young offenders' institution for 18 months and his Leeds team-mate Bailey for nine, for their part in a fight outside a Leeds nightclub.

The players have apparently decided against an appeal after taking advice from a QC engaged by the GMB trade union.

"I'm not aware of any appeal, so I've resigned myself to not having them available,'' said Waite. "I don't want them to think that they won't be in contention when they come back, but I will need to decide on replacements.''

Waite has asked his assistants, Brian Noble and Graham Steadman, for suggestions on who should fill the vacancies in the threequarters and the front row.

The Great Britain side is to be sponsored during the series and over the next 12 months by the Department of Transport's Think! Road safety campaign. The six-figure sponsorship includes bonuses for increased television audiences for the three Tests.

Wakefield, second from bottom in the Super League, have released their Australian loose forward, Adrian Vowles, who has also been the club's assistant coach this season. Head coach Shane McNally's future at Belle Vue is still uncertain.

The former New Zealand captain Quentin Pongia has extended his stay at Wigan until the end of the 2004 season.