Rugby League: CS gas player will deny any charges

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

Barrie McDermott, the Leeds and former Great Britain prop, will deny any charges that arise from his becoming the first person in the country to be subdued using a CS gas spray.

McDermott, aged 23, was arrested after an incident outside a night-club in Oldham early on Sunday morning and released on police bail until Thursday.

Greater Manchester Police said that he became "extremely violent and aggressive", forcing them to use the newly introduced spray. But McDermott's solicitor, John Fitzpatrick, said: "If he is charged with anything, the charges will be denied."

The 17st player, who has a glass eye as a result of a childhood airgun accident, was badly affected by the spray, Fitzpatrick said. "He tells me that he was up all night vomiting and that his face still feels burnt." McDermott started his career with Oldham, and spent a year with Wigan before signing for Leeds in a pounds 100,000 deal last summer.

Hull have transfer-listed their Great Britain forward, Steve McNamara, for a massive pounds 350,000 after his third request for a move. The 24-year- old McNamara has appeared as a substitute forward in Test matches.

An announcement is expected later this week about radical changes aimed at keeping Super League afloat worldwide. A meeting of Britain's 32 professional clubs has voted unanimously to give the game's board of directors carte blanche to do whatever they see as necessary "to protect and promote" World Super League.

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