Visa problems have resulted in Barrow Raiders having to leave four players behind for their top-of-the-table clash in Toronto this weekend.
Dan Toal, Danny Morrow and Martin Aspinwall missed the deadline in acquiring the obligatory paperwork, while Jamie Dallimore was turned away at check-in leaving the Raiders with a patched-up squad.
Dallimore was originally granted a visa before being turned away, with the other three players sacrificing last night’s training session in a bid to get clearance.
Speaking with the North-West Evening Mail, Barrow coach Paul Crarey has been left frustrated after the club initially thought it would only take two days to obtain visas for the relevant players.
“It’s disappointing for us, as a club, that it’s a top-of-the-table clash and it’s come down to visa issues as to whether we can field the side we want to play them,” he said.
“We’re having to take lads who have got injuries who have put their hands up. We haven’t got the man-power or the administration to worry about these things. These are working-class kids, and we haven’t got the man-power or the resources to do it.”
Barrow, like Toronto, have won all seven of their games in League 1 games this season and were expected to provide the toughest test of the season so far for the Wolfpack.
However, this set-back has angered Crarey and he believes the Rugby Football League should deal with all the relevant paperwork in future for clubs travelling to Canada.
“Personally, I feel this should be done by the governing body. All of the names should be sent to them and they should sort it out – that’s my personal opinion.
“I’m absolutely devastated, really – not for me, but for the club, the fans going over and Toronto as well. We’re going to give everything we’ve got, but we’re a bit mix-and-match.
“We can all run sets, we can all step in – that’s not the issue – but we’re against a team who are high in quality, full-time and it’s on their turf after a long journey and a tough few games.
“There are no excuses from us; we’ll go there and do a job, but we’re doing it with one hand tied behind our back.”