Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos: Michaels in line for Hull call-up despite being implicated in drugs case

Gareth Ellis.
Gareth Ellis.
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HULL FC coach Lee Radford says he has no issue with selecting Steve Michaels for tonight’s game with Leeds Rhinos despite the centre being implicated in a cocaine scandal that has rocked the NRL.

The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission announced last Friday they had obtained an arrest warrant for the 27-year-old former Gold Coast Titans player as part of their investigation into drugs trafficking.

That will be served the next time he returns to his homeland as part of a crisis that has engulfed the sport Down Under, current Kangaroos stars Greg Bird and David Taylor already stood down by Gold Coast due to their alleged involvement, too. Ex-Leeds player Joe Vickery is another implicated but Radford says Michaels – who joined from the Titans last winter – will be treated as innocent unless anything changes.

“At the minute with him, it is a report in a paper,” he said. “There has been no contact from the NRL, Gold Coast (Titans), Queensland Crime Commission and no contact from the ‘Old Bill’ over here so at present it’s a press report in the Courier Mail.”

He is in the 19-man squad for tonight’s game, however, and, after Radford arrived at training yesterday to be met by a raft of late injury concerns, looks set to play. Radford – whose team have lost twice and narrowly since an impressive 19-0 opening day win at Huddersfield – is able to recall captain and former Rhinos and Wakefield star Gareth Ellis after a rib injury.