Blues’ Graham to fight high tackle charge

Wade Graham’s State of Origin debut now rests in the hands of the NRL judiciary panel when he fights a grade one careless high tackle charge on Wednesday night.

The Blues rookie landed in Coffs Harbour with his new teammates on Tuesday afternoon just hours after being charged by the match review committee for his high shot on North Queensland No.7 Johnathan Thurston while playing for Cronulla on Monday.

“It’s obviously a bit of a rollercoaster the last 12 hours, first to get selected and now being charged,” he said on Tuesday.

“So it’s hard to process at the moment but obviously 24 hours we’ll get through it. Just take a breath now that we’re in camp.”

“Obviously there’s disappointment. We’ll head back to Sydney now and fight it. Cronulla have been in contact already, they’ve been working with NSWRL and obviously me in fighting the charge.”

A base charge for a grade one careless high tackle draws a 75 penalty points, however a similar offence in the past 12 months, as well as 33 carryover points, means he will have to successfully argue his case at the judiciary to play in Brisbane.

Blues coach Laurie Daley conceded it wasn’t an ideal start to preparations for the must-win match at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week.

“It’s not what you want but at the end of the day it is what it is. We can’t control what’s happened but he’ll stay with us and we’ll work out what he’s going to do,” he said.

“We’ll give him the support that he needs and we’ll move.”

Daley said he yet to decide whether to draft another player into camp, but did admit that development players Bryce Cartwright and Jack Bird could be brought into the 17.

“I haven’t had a chance to think about it but I’m sure this afternoon we’ll come up with some sort of plan, whether we bring someone out or don’t. We’ll see how it unfolds,” he said.

In better news for the Blues, forward James Tamou escaped being sanctioned for an apparent shoulder charge on NSW teammate Andrew Fifita in the same match on Monday night.

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