Wallace 'heartbroken' by judiciary charge

Gold Coast Titans forward Jarrod Wallace is said to be "heartbroken" that his dreams of playing Origin could be on hold as he waits to fight a charge of a grade one shoulder charge at the NRL judiciary this week.

Wallace was named in the Queensland team for Game Two on Monday afternoon but will only be able to make his Origin debut next Tuesday night against the Blues if he is found not guilty at the judiciary.

The charge stemmed from an incident in the final seconds of the first half of the Titans' 34-12 loss to the Warriors on Saturday where Wallace made contact with Warriors centre Blake Ayshford after the ball had gone to ground.

After the game the 25-year-old said he was merely bracing for the inevitable impact which will form the basis of his defence when he fronts the judiciary who have cleared teammate Ryan James and South Sydney's Sam Burgess of similar offences this season.

Given that he has been named in the Maroons' 17 and has decided to plead not guilty, if Wallace is unsuccessful at the judiciary his two-match suspension will be served in Origin II and the Titans' Round 16 clash with the Wests Tigers.

 


Wallace was at a barbecue on Sunday afternoon with a number of teammates when he received notification of the charge from the match review committee and back-rower Chris McQueen said that it had an instant effect on him.

"It's something that he's wanted for a long time and I was actually with him yesterday when he got the phone call saying he was facing suspension and he was heartbroken," said McQueen, who has played six Origin matches for the Maroons.

"He will bounce back – you have no choice if he does end up having to serve that suspension – but it's something that he's never going to forget.

"He was speechless. We were making jokes about it and I don't think he really expected to have to face suspension and when he got the phone call it ruined his day.

"As soon as he got that phone call he wanted to leave, he wanted to go home and be left alone. You could tell that it really rattled him."

This is not the first time McQueen has seen a teammate's dream placed in jeopardy with a judiciary hearing after Issac Luke missed South Sydney's 2014 grand final victory due to a grade one dangerous throw charge that was held up by the judiciary.

The NRL this year introduced fines for minor offences and McQueen is adamant that Wallace should not miss the chance to play for Queensland based on what happened on Saturday.

"I certainly don't think that he deserves to miss an Origin," McQueen said.

"We've all had a look at the footage and it's just one of those ones where two big men are going to have a collision, you've got to brace yourself. You can't just stand there and cop the full impact of the player coming into you.

"It could go either way but I don't think there's a lot in it.

"I spoke about this after the 2014 grand final when Issac Luke didn't get to play.

"The people that made that decision probably forgot what Issac Luke did but that's the sort of thing that will burn at him for the rest of his life.

"If Jarrod doesn't get the opportunity to play – I know he will at some point – if he didn't get it now and for whatever reason it didn't come around again that's the sort of thing that will eat at him for the rest of his life.

"There are special occasions where minor things maybe you can serve your penalty or suspension back at club level because grand finals and Origins are the sort of things that kids dream about from the day they learn what rugby league is.

"For people to come along and take those dreams away from them, that's a harsh penalty to pay for something that really is a minor offence."