Rugby League: Worried Widnes in appeal

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The Independent Online
WIDNES are appealing today against the selection of four of their players for the Welsh side in the World Sevens in Sydney, starting on 6 February, writes Dave Hadfield.

The club have already been allowed to postpone the league game against Hull the following day. But, after the expulsion of Wigan, Widnes now fear being disadvantaged in the Challenge Cup second round on 14 February if their players return tired or injured.

'If we are the only ones taking it seriously, it's not fair,' said Jim Mills, who is in the uncomfortable position of being the Widnes chairman and Welsh team manager.

If the appeals' panel agrees that Jonathan Davies, John Devereux, Adrian Hadley and Paul Moriarty should not go to Sydney, it would leave a gap that would be likely to signal the end of British involvement in an event which has proved nothing but a headache.

Referees are no longer to be assessed on every performance. Changes announced yesterday include scrapping the system of assessors in favour of a six-man panel of inspectors, chaired by the former international referee, Eric Lawrinson.