NSW coach Laurie Daley believes Wade Graham’s State of Origin career might be over before it has even begun after the Sharks back-rower was rubbed out of the second game of the series.
Graham was found guilty of a high tackle on Johnathan Thurston at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night and will miss Origin II in Brisbane next week, which would have been his series debut.
The Cronulla back-rower was drafted into the Blues line-up due to an injury to Boyd Cordner.
Daley said Graham might never get another call-up as he questioned the fairness of the NRL judiciary system.
“Wade may never get another chance to play Origin,” Daley said.
“It’s just one of those things – for that type of offence, I think we could look at some other (penalty) system.
“But that’s for later on. Our focus now is to get behind Wade and support him, but also get behind Tyson (Frizell) and get him up to speed and welcome him into camp.”
St George Illawarra star Frizell has been called up to the Blues side for Graham and will train with the Blues for the first time at their Coffs Harbour base on Thursday.
Graham was gutted about the ban.
“Obviously, I am very disappointed I miss out on the game. There’s not really words to describe how disappointing it is,” Graham said.
“But we went in there and put in a good argument. It was a fair case – unfortunately, the decision didn’t go my way tonight.
“It is important for me to move on and head back to Cronulla and, hopefully, have my name in the ring for Origin III.”
Graham will next be available for Cronulla’s round-16 fixture on Saturday week against the Warriors.