Bird facing State of Origin ban

NSW enforcer Greg Bird faces being sidelined for the first two State of Origin games, for his ugly tackle on Jason Nightingale late in the Kangaroos’ Test loss to the Kiwis on Sunday.

Bird could be suspended for up to eight matches for the tackle, after being hit with a grade two dangerous throw charge by the match review committee on Monday.

Due to the Gold Coast forward’s considerable judiciary record the charge carries with it a six-week ban if the NSW and Australian representative takes the early guilty plea.

However if he decides to fight the ban at the judiciary and loses he will be banned for eight matches.

A six-week suspension will rub Bird out of the opening Origin game in Sydney on May 27 and the Titans’ round nine, 10, 12, 13 and 14 fixtures, with the club enjoying a bye week in round 11.

That would make Bird eligible for Origin II in Melbourne on June 17.

But an eight-week suspension would also rule Bird out of Origin II in Melbourne on June 17 and the Titans’ round 15 match with the Warriors, making him eligible for Origin III in Brisbane on July 8.

Josh Reynolds’ hopes of retaining his NSW jersey have also suffered a blow, with the Blues incumbent five-eighth facing a one-game ban for tripping.

City playmaker Reynolds was hit with a grade one tripping charge for his ugly effort on Country forward Tariq Sims at Wagga Wagga on Sunday.

Due to loading and carry over points, the offence carries a one-match ban if Reynolds takes the early guilty plea.

That will rule him out of Canterbury’s visit to Townsville on Saturday to face North Queensland, leaving him just one more game to impress Blues coach Laurie Daley before he chooses his side on May 19 for game one.

If he fights the ban and loses, Reynolds will be outed for two games.

Kangaroos back-rower Sam Thaiday is also set for a week’s holiday for his crusher tackle on Kiwis forward Martin Taupau.

The Brisbane star was handed a grade one dangerous contact head/neck charge and will earn a week’s ban with the early guilty plea. The same penalty applies if he fights the charge and loses.

In other charges from the representative weekend, Melbourne’s Tongan forward Felise Kaufusi also faces a week ban for a grade one dangerous contact charge for a tackle on Samoa’s Josh McGuire in Saturday’s clash on the Gold Coast.

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