Canterbury and NSW back-rower Josh Jackson is expected to fight a dangerous throw charge in a bid to free himself to play in the State of Origin decider.
Jackson was on Monday hit with a grade two dangerous throw charge by the NRL match review committee for his part in a lifting tackle on Penrith’s Jamie Soward on Saturday night.
He is facing a two-week ban with an early guilty plea but appears set to challenge the charge or seek a downgrade at the judiciary.
A fortnight on the sidelines would rub him out of the July 8 Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.
He would be suspended for three weeks if he is found guilty. However if he has it downgraded to a grade one, he would incur a one-week penalty which would mean he would miss the Bulldogs’ match with the Wests Tigers on Sunday but would be available for the Blues.
While the Bulldogs have until noon on Tuesday to enter Jackson’s plea, Blues coach Laurie Daley said he understood Jackson was keen to fight the charge.
“I spoke to Josh today and he’s obviously disappointed,” Daley said.
“I saw that game and I thought there were a number of contributing reasons why the player ended in that position and I’m sure they’ll fight hard to get him off.”
Daley said that if Jackson is suspended, St George Illawarra’s Tyson Frizell, Newcastle’s Tariq Sims and the Gold Coast’s Ryan James would all come under consideration.
“The feeling I got from Josh is that he wanted to defend it,” Daley said.
“But he to speak to his legal counsel and they speak to (Canterbury coach) Des (Hasler) and they form a plan on how they want to go about it.
“I’m hoping he challenges it but at the end of the day that will be for the Bulldogs and for Josh.”
Sims would be available for NSW selection despite being charged with a careless high tackle and would be free to play on the weekend with an early guilty plea.
Jackson’s Bulldogs teammate Greg Eastwood was also charged for the tackle on Soward, which occurred in the 22nd minute, however Eastwood can escape with no suspension with an early guilty plea.
Newcastle prop Kade Snowden is facing a week on the sidelines for a dangerous tackle on Cronulla’s Matt Prior.
Brisbane’s Jack Reed (dangerous contact with head or neck) will be free to play with an early guilty plea.