Rugby League: Wigan carpet Cowie

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The Independent Online
Wigan have sent their prop forward, Neil Cowie, home from Australia after a disciplinary breach, writes Dave Hadfield. The Wales and Great Britain international missed a training session after his side's World Club Championship thrashing by the Brisbane Broncos.

"He failed to provide a satisfactory reason and I decided to send him straight home," the Wigan coach, Eric Hughes, said. "The players have been brought out here to do a job and I will accept nothing less than 100 per cent commitment.''

The club's chairman, Jack Robinson, who supported Hughes' decision, said that the board would discuss any further action against Cowie next week. Wigan are now without two regular players for their match at Canberra on Sunday, with Nigel Wright resting a groin strain.

The Bradford Bulls, bitterly disappointed by their narrow defeats in their first two games, get their last chance on home soil tonight against Cronulla.

Stuart Spruce returns at full-back and the experienced forwards, Bernard Dwyer and Sonny Nickle, could also play a part after extended absences.

Cronulla are likely to be without their discovery of the tournament, Russell Richardson, with a knee injury suffered in scoring against St Helens, but Bradford will still be wary of a back division the pace of which is illustrated by Andrew Ettingshausen being arguably its slowest member.

Saints have put in an official complaint that two of Cronulla's tries in their 48-8 victory on Monday were scored in extra time wrongly added on to the first half because of faulty time-keeping. Saints fear that the extra points conceded could affect their final placing in their pool.

Saints' winger Danny Arnold is one of the newcomers in Scotland's squad for their international against France at Partick Thistle on 9 July.

The former Salford captain, Ian Blease, who was banned for life for assaulting a touch-judge, has had his suspension commuted on appeal to end on 31 March next year.

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