Leeds Rhinos have expressed their disappointment at the decision by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) to force them to release Brent Webb.
World Champions Leeds Rhinos have expressed their disappointment at the decision by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) to force them to release Brent Webb to play a mid-season international. Webb will play against Bradford Bulls in Cardiff on Saturday 3rd May. His itinerary requires him to travel immediately after the game on a 3 hour journey to a hotel in London, from where he will fly to Sydney hours later. He will then play in the International game 3 days later before immediately returning to the UK, arriving back exactly seven days after departure. Commenting on the decision Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, "We believe his selection is inconsistent with accepted inter hemisphere team travel protocol, especially given the nature and standards of the contest. The players risk to injury would significantly increase. "We made our concerns known to the New Zealand administration several months ago. In addition, the fixture clashes with our clubs involvement in the Carnegie Challenge Cup, which of course is a sudden death knockout competition. "Our club has and always will be a big supporter of International RL but on this occasion we strongly believe that the player should not be required to undertake this very punishing and dangerous schedule. "As a club we understand we have a duty of care to our players. We will not consider Brent for the Carnegie Challenge Cup game against Harlequins RL, even if he is back in the country on time, as we have his best interests at heart. Players should not be put in this position and we are not only disappointed with the outcome but the process by which it has come about," added Hetherington.