FORMER Leigh RL forward John Elias has been jailed for six years in his native Australia.

Elias was found guilty of shooting a business partner over a gambling debt. He shot Raymond Younan in the leg in the car park of a McDonalds restaurant in June last year.

Elias, a well-known player in the NRL in Australia and the coach of Lebanon in the 2002 World Cup, claimed he feared for his life after being threatened by Younan.

He was sentenced in the District Court in Sydney last Friday. He must serve four and half years in jail before becoming eligible for parole.

Elias spent the 1992-93 season at Leigh before returning to Australia.