COUNTRY Rugby League dismissed yesterday an appeal over a suspension that has ruled classy Murwillumbah Mustangs five-eighth Damien Quinn out of tomorrow's Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League away clash with Casino at Queen Elizabeth II Park.
Quinn was selected as 18th man in the NSW Country team that left today for a short tour of Samoa but he requested he be omitted from the team because of work and family reasons.
The CRL refused to accede to the request, forcing Quinn to withdraw from the touring party and open himself to suspension from his local competition.
The CRL suspended Quinn for two weeks, the time frame spanning pre-tour training and the tour.
Fortunately for the Mustangs, the first week of the suspension occurred during the team's bye, so Quinn's services were not required.
Quinn was selected in the Country squad following several handy performances for Northern Rivers in the Country Championships last month.
"All players had to sign a form making themselves available for selection for Country, otherwise we couldn't play in the championships," Quinn said.
"This was put to us just as we started getting ready for a game. Of course we had to sign it, otherwise we wouldn't be permitted to play. It was a long way to go (Cessnock) not to play a game of footy.
"Never did I think I would be selected. I'm coming towards the end of my career and I never imagined that I would be picked over a young bloke coming through.
"After being selected I asked the CRL to exclude me on the grounds I was a school teacher and it was back to school for me this week. "I believe I am a dedicated teacher and I didn't want my absence from school to place a burden on my colleagues or hinder my students.
"I also explained that I didn't want to leave my wife, Samantha, at home on her own looking after three children under three-and-a-half years of age."
Quinn was disappointed by yesterday's decision, because the premiership pacesetters had already lost two key men through injury for tomorrow's match - goal-kicking second-rower Luke Covell and workaholic lock Shaun Dorney.
Covell has aggravated an old knee injury and will have scans on Tuesday to ascertain the extent of the injury.
Coach Troy McLean has been forced to make several positional changes in backs and forwards because of Quinn's unavailability.