Rugby League: Edwards left on tenterhooks

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The Independent Online
Shaun Edwards, Great Britain's captain, learns today whether his involvement in the Test series against Australia is suspended or even ended completely.

Edwards became the first British captain to be sent off in a Test when Graham Annesley, the Australian referee, showed him the red card in the 25th minute of Saturday's 8-4 victory at Wembley.

He now faces a three-man disciplinary panel this morning consisting of Stephen Watson, the Great Britain manager, and representatives of the British and Australian leagues. They have the power to put him out of the rest of the series and a suspension of more than one match would exclude Edwards from the second Test at Old Trafford on 5 November.

The seriousness of his high tackle on Bradley Clyde, the Australian second row, could put him out until after the final match of the series a fortnight later. 'It was a reaction thing when he stepped inside me,' a bitterly regretful Edwards said after the match. 'I never intended to hurt him and I hope he will be OK.'

At least Edwards seems to have his wish on that. Clyde was discharged from Charing Cross Hospital after tests showed that he had suffered no serious damage and could play in the second Test.

Edwards will be asking the panel to take into consideration the fact that he has never been sent off, not only in his 11- year professional career but as a schoolboy international in league and union.

Britain have other problems in the wake of a memorable victory. Jonathan Davies, their try-scorer, is having X-rays on a dislocated shoulder today and is definitely out of the Welsh team to play Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.

Daryl Powell is also injured and will miss playing for Sheffield Eagles against the tourists on Wednesday with a bruised thigh.

The happier consequence of an unexpected win is that the remaining Tests in Manchester and at Elland Road are now certain to be sell-outs.

Match report, Ken Jones, page 36