Gold Coast forward Greg Bird will appeal a dangerous throw charge in a bid to be available for the State of Origin series, the Titans say.
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The Australian Test star was hit with a grade two dangerous throw charge for a lifting tackle on New Zealand winger Jason Nightingale during Sunday’s ANZAC Test in Brisbane.
Bird faced a six-match ban with an early guilty plea or eight matches if he failed at the NRL judiciary.
Either ban would rule Bird out of the opening two State of Origin games.
According to the ABC, Bird will miss just two games and be eligible to play for New South Wales in the opening Origin match in Sydney on May 27.
The Titans on Tuesday announced that Bird would face the NRL judiciary on Wednesday and admit guilt, but will seek a downgrade from the grade two charge.
“After consultation between football staff, Greg Bird and legal representative Jim Hall this morning, the Titans have decided to seek a downgrade of the grade two dangerous throw charge issued to Greg for a tackle in Sunday’s Australia-New Zealand Test match,” a Titans statement read.
“Bird will plead guilty to the charge but the club feels it has a case to claim it should be classed a grade one offence and not a grade two as issued.
“With that in mind, Greg and club representatives will elect to contest the severity of the charge and appear before a judiciary hearing on Wednesday.
“As the incident is subject to these proceedings, there is no more comment at this stage.”
Bird missed the opening Origin match last season due to suspension and was charged with a dangerous throw on Queensland’s Nate Myles in the decider.
He wasn’t the only player to have gathered the attention of the NRL match review committee during representative weekend, with Kangaroos teammate Sam Thaiday facing a week on the sidelines after being charged with making dangerous contact to the head and neck of Kiwi star Martin Taupau.
Tongan international Felise Kaufusi will miss Melbourne Storm’s match with Parramatta this weekend after he pleaded guilty to dangerous contact on Samoa prop Josh McGuire
Canterbury Bulldogs man Josh Reynolds will also miss a week for his attempted trip on Tariq Sims during the City v Country clash on Sunday.