Lyon's heart misses a beat on UK arrival - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lyon's heart misses a beat on UK arrival

By Valkerie Mangnall 17/02/2009 03:00:27 PM Comments (0)

Jamie Lyon's heart skipped a beat when an old run-in with British immigration officials threatened to rear its head again when Manly flew into London for rugby league's World Club Challenge (WCC).

A problem with his visa paperwork when Lyon arrived to join Super League club St Helens in 2005 led to a lengthy hold-up at the airport that time.

And, despite the five-eighth having travelled to and from the UK subsequently, the incident apparently set off alarm bells as he attempted to enter the country on Monday.

A club spokesman said after a few tense moments the issue was resolved however, and Lyons was allowed through passport control.

"That was sorted out fairly quickly, for a while Jamie thought, `Oh no,'" he said.

The 23-man Sea Eagles squad flew business class and landed feeling fresh and alert for their warm-up match against London club Harlequins on Sunday ahead of their WCC clash with Leeds Rhinos at Elland Road on March 1.

"We're great ... the players went for a walk this afternoon to get their legs and they're looking forward to training tomorrow," the spokesman said.

Australian teams have struggled in the annual fixture, having won just two of the nine games since it became an annual event held in the UK in 2000. The Sydney Roosters were the last NRL team to win it, six years ago.

The cold, wet English winter conditions have often been blamed, and the Sea Eagles are determined to adapt quickly, hitting the training track on Tuesday morning (Tuesday night AEDT).

The match against Harlequins kicks off at 3pm Sunday (0200 Monday AEDT) at Twickenham Stoop in west London.

Test prop Brent Kite, on compassionate leave, is Manly's highest profile absentee from the tour, and star Parramatta signing Tony Williams is out injured.

New recruits Chris Bailey and Shane Rodney are in the squad, while backs Steve Matai and Brett Stewart are expected to play in the WCC clash after recovering from off-season surgery.

George Rose returns from his horrific broken leg suffered in 2007.

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