Melbourne & Brisbane last night joined Newcastle in demanding Lyon be stood down http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23923121-5001023,00.html By Barry Toohey and Dean Ritchie June 26, 2008 ANGRY Newcastle yesterday called on Manly centre Jamie Lyon to stand down from Saturday night's match in Gosford for "moral reasons". Lyon has shocked the NSW State of Origin camp by declaring he was not interested in representing the Blues in this season's series. Premiership heavyweights Melbourne and Brisbane last night joined Newcastle in demanding Lyon be stood down. Lyon has not officially asked for dispensation but yesterday confirmed he did not want to play representative football this season. NSW coach Craig Bellamy revealed that Blues selectors overlooked Lyon for the Origin decider because the Manly star snubbed them for Origin II. Bellamy also rang Lyon. Furious Knights CEO Steve Burraston claimed the Lyon issue had opened up a dangerous loophole in relation to players' availability for representative football. "Technically, Manly will argue that Lyon hasn't been officially picked so he has a right to play against us (in Gosford)," Burraston said. "Morally, it is not right and he should be stood down. "I'm not a fan of winning games off the field but this is something that needs to be looked at. I don't think it is fair. We have three of our best players unavailable and Manly are almost at full strength." Manly chief executive Grant Mayer laughed at Burraston's suggestion. "I suggest Steve reads the rules. I can't see any reference to morals," Mayer said. "The rules are clear and I would suggest that anybody wishing to question either Manly's or Jamie's integrity should simply check their facts." The Broncos and Storm - who have 13 Origin players unavailable this weekend - are furious Lyon has been allowed to pick and choose his rep games and still be allowed to play for Manly. "I'd have thought Manly had an obligation to do the right thing by the rest of the clubs and stand him down," Storm CEO Brian Waldron said. "If he doesn't want to play, I don't see why Manly should benefit while the rest of us suffer." Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen agreed, saying: "If he has said he's unavailable, then he should stand down. It would be an expectation more than anything else." NRL chief executive David Gallop added: "We would only stand down a player if the NSWRL request it because he hadn't complied with their rep player rules." Standard NRL contracts state any player who stands down from rep football cannot play for their club that weekend. Lyon yesterday defended his controversial decision. "I made it clear to the media and anyone who asked that I would prefer not to play in the series but that I would play if called on or needed," he said. "I wasn't chosen to play in the third Origin game. I have maintained that I am happy playing club football with Manly."