Billy Slater's grand final farewell could rest with one of his former premiership-winning Storm teammates at Tuesday night's NRL judiciary hearing.
Slater needs to beat a ban for shoulder charging Cronulla's Sosaia Feki to play the final game of his glittering 16-year career in Sunday's showdown with the Roosters, and ex-Melbourne stalwart Dallas Johnson is among the five candidates in line to sit on the three-man judiciary panel.
The NRL has used Johnson and former Roosters and Rabbitohs captain Sean Garlick as judiciary panel members in 2018, with their possible inclusion in Tuesday night's hearing adding another level of intrigue to Slater's D-Day.
There are no NRL rules against former players ruling on cases involving former clubs and teammates. Tony Puletua, Mal Cochrane and Bob Lindner are the other members called upon this season.
Slater will fly to Sydney on Tuesday along with coach Craig Bellamy, while the rest of Melbourne's squad departs for the Harbour City on Wednesday after a training session down south.
Should Slater be cleared, he will jet back to Melbourne for training and then travel with his teammates.
The Storm have engaged high profile lawyer Nick Ghabar for Slater's defence and Melbourne QC Chris Townsend, with the former well-remembered for getting Justin Hodges cleared to play when suspension threatened to rub him out of the 2015 decider.
With Jahrome Hughes waiting in the wings as Slater's replacement, the club is reluctant to shift Cameron Munster to his preferred fullback position and break up his halves combination with Brodie Croft.
Having made his name in the No.1 jumper, Munster said he would tried to stop Feki in the same fashion as his veteran teammate.
"One hundred per cent I would try to do the same thing," Munster said.
"There wasn't any contact with the head. They have to take that into consideration too. [Slater] was bracing himself. He got himself into an awkward position ... Feki came back in off his left foot, he braced himself to stop the try. It's a 50-50 call and I hope they make the right decision".
Secure a match ticket
A limited amount of tickets are still left to enjoy the 2018 Telstra Premiership NRL Grand Final. Don’t miss your chance to secure your seat via Ticketek HERE
Travelling for the grand final?
You can secure your tickets and travel all in the one place with ‘build your own’ packages still available HERE