Morley given immediate chance to atone

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The Independent Online
Working on the same principle that sends riders straight back on their bicycle after suffering a fall, Adrian Morley will start Great Britain's match against the New Zealand Maori's in Whangarei tomorrow.

Morley's sin-binning when he came on as a substitute in the First Test last Friday was so clearly the difference between the two sides in a 17- 12 Kiwi win that it is undoubtedly a good idea for him to get it out of his system as soon as possible.

Morley asked to play from the beginning in the last midweek match of the tour and his coach, Phil Larder, has obliged.

"All the games I've had on tour have been as a substitute," said the 19-year-old Morley. "I want to play from the start and tried to force my way in for the Second Test.

"When the players came off after losing I couldn't look them in the eye because I felt I'd let them down, but they have been great about it.

"Phil has told me that he blames the sin-binning for us losing the match, but he doesn't blame me personally."

Larder has not been entirely satisfied with the form of Iestyn Harris, so he now comes under some pressure for his Test place from Karle Hammond, the St Helens utility player, who is given a chance to impress at stand- off.

Another Saints player, winger Joey Hayes, will be on his way home this week after failing a fitness test on his knee, his absence means Keith Senior plays on the wing and Tulsen Tollett at centre, with Nathan McAvoy, the Academy captain, borrowed in order to fill in on the bench.

Keighley's Jason Critchley will also fly home on Thursday for an operation on his cartilage and ligaments.

The senior side's opposition cannot be taken lightly, especially by tourists still looking for their first win in New Zealand. The Maori side features players with British experience in Tukere Barlow and Gavin Hill, and is captained by the former Sheffield, York and Castleford loose-forward, Tawere Nikau, who would surely be playing for the national side were it not for his feud with his one-time Castleford team-mate, Richie Blackmore.

Great Britain: Prescott (St Helens); Senior (Sheffield), Mather (Perth), Tollett (London), Roper (Warrington); Hammond (St Helens), Smith (Castleford); McDermott (Bradford), Lowes (Bradford, capt), Malloy (Featherstone), Morley (Leeds), Cassidy (Wigan), Dwyer (Bradford). Substitutes: Phillips (Warrington), Harmon (Leeds), Bradbury (Oldham), McAvoy (Salford).

NZ Maoris: Murray; Farrar, Henry, Tawa, Walker; Stevens, Howell; Rauhahi, Barlow, Hill, Pearce, Sturm, Nikau (capt). Substitutes: Ramsay, Gardiner, Milner, Whakarau.