League: No sanction for Slater over attack

Billy Slater. Photo / Getty Images
Billy Slater. Photo / Getty Images

Billy Slater is set to keep his spot in the Kangaroos' Rugby League World Cup side despite his involvement in an early-morning fight at a Manchester nightclub.

The 30-year-old Melbourne player was arrested but later released and cleared on any wrongdoing after he was allegedly attacked by a member of the public while celebrating with his Australian teammates in the early hours of Monday morning.

Slater would not say which or how many of his teammates were still out at the time of the incident.

Slater said coach Tim Sheens was disappointed to hear of the incident but it is understood the Kangaroos coach is not considering dropping his first-choice fullback for Saturday's quarter-final against the US.

While England have axed or suspended players including Gareth Hock, James Graham and Zak Hardaker over reported alcohol-related incidents at the tournament, Slater is likely to escape punishment because of the circumstances of his incident.

Both Manchester police and Australian officials confirmed Slater was the victim and acted in self-defence after he was punched by a 40-year-old man outside the Mojo club.

Sheens is yet to comment on the incident, though the fact it happened at 2.40am would be of concern and could prompt him to rethink a decision not to set his players a curfew.

It was the second late-night incident of the campaign for the Kangaroos.

Forward Josh Papalii was robbed on the team's first night in Manchester last month, but they have had an otherwise incident-free campaign so far.


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