Blues to be without a key enforcer as they search to an end to the Maroons’ dominance.
New South Wales back-rower Greg Bird is set to miss the first State of Origin match on May 28 after being slapped with a grade three dangerous throw charge by the NRL judiciary.
Bird was placed on report for a lifting tackle on South Sydney’s Bryson Goodwin in the 60th minute of Gold Coast’s 40-18 loss to the Rabbitohs on Saturday.
Bird is facing a four-match ban with an early guilty plea and up to six weeks on the sidelines if he challenges the charge and loses.
Either scenario will as a minimum rule him out of selection for the New South Wales team for the first Origin match.
The news was better for the Queensland cause with captain Cameron Smith and full-back Billy Slater able to avoid suspension for incidents from their clash with Manly on Saturday.
Smith received a grade-one charge for his dangerous contact with opposing hooker Matt Ballin and can dodge a ban with an early guilty plea.
Slater’s careless high tackle on David Williams was also adjudged a grade-one offence and will avoid a ban.