2018 PREVIEW 🔍 Perennial underachievers? Our fifteenth preview is here. Andrew Ferguson assesses whe...
2 hours ago - 1 Likes
Jailed Great Britain rugby league squad member Ryan Bailey could play against Australia next month - wearing an electronic tag.
Bailey, 19, is serving a nine-month sentence in a juvenile detention centre for violent disorder, but is due to be released into home detention on October 5.
That has raised the prospect of him playing for Leeds in the Super League grand final a fortnight later - and against the Kangaroos in October and November.
"We've said all along that Ryan and Chev Walker will be considered for selection once they come out of jail," a Rugby Football League spokesman said.
"Chev comes out too late, but they are both still in the squad and Ryan will be up for consideration.
"It's too soon to say, but we'll have to see what happens when the lad gets out of jail."
Bailey, 19, and Walker, his 20-year-old Leeds team-mate, were sent to juvenile detention last July after pleading guilty to charges arising from a brawl outside a Leeds nightclub in July 2002.
Rochdale Hornets player Paul Owen, 24, was jailed for 15 months and a third Leeds player, Dwayne Barker, 19, was ordered to do 150 hours of community service.
Leeds coach Daryl Powell confirmed he was considering playing Bailey should the Rhinos make the final.
"We've certainly not ruled him out," Powell told British newspaper the Guardian.
"It depends on how he is when he comes out. He has kept training but we can't be sure how he's going to be."
Under the scheme, prisoners wear electronic tags to ensure they are at home between 7pm and 7am.
As the grand final and the test matches will be played at night, that could rule Bailey out - but Powell hopes a solution can be found.
"The games are televised and if he's on telly, I think they'll know where he is," he said.
Leeds has stood by Bailey and Walker since their jailing, saying they will be free to resume their careers with the club when they come out of jail.
The fight broke out outside a nightclub when Owen was tricked into handing over his mobile phone to a woman, who ran away with it.
He chased her to get it back, but the three Leeds players thought he was assaulting her and went to her aid.
The four-minute brawl was caught on closed-circuit television.