Woolford leave appeal denied

Canberra captain Simon Woolford's bid seeking leave to appeal his eight-week suspension was last night denied by NRL judiciary chairman Greg Woods.

The Raiders were seeking to have Woolford's dangerous throw charge reduced from a grade two to a grade one offence. The tackle against Storm fullback Billy Slater on July 9 has sparked heated debate over the judiciary system, which will be reviewed at season's end.

The nuggetty rake has warned he could be forced out of the NRL following the decision. Woolford still has a year left on his contract with the Raiders but says if he continues to land in trouble with the judiciary, he will consider seeing out his career in England. Former St George Illawarra prop Craig Smith was driven to leave Australia to play for English club Wigan after he copped several suspensions for knee-lifting and other offences.

Smith returned this year to answer an SOS call from Newcastle.

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