Millions of dollars in talented stars banned from round one

Cameron Munster, Jordan Rapana, Latrell Mitchell, League, NRL 2022, NRL judiciary



It’s the kind of NRL side which could challenge for an NRL premiership … if the players could get their discipline under control.

Some of the biggest stars in the NRL totalling millions of dollars in salary cap talent will be out for the first round of 2022 due to a range of on-field and disciplinary sanctions handed out at the end of last season and over the summer months.

The biggest names who’ll be watching the season starting from the grandstands will be Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell who still has two more matches to serve for his high shot on Joey Manu, Warriors young gun Reece Walsh due to his high-profile cocaine bust on the Gold Coast in September and Storm trio Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis for their part in the “white powder scandal” filmed during their Mad Monday celebrations.

Melbourne will be decimated for round one when they take on the Wests Tigers at CommBank Stadium with hooker Harry Grant banned for a crusher tackle and prop Tui Kamikamica currently stood down by the NRL under its “no-fault stand down” regulations after he was charged in November with assault occasioning bodily harm after an alleged incident with an unknown woman at a Brisbane nightspot.

Raiders winger Jordan Rapana was already suspended for round one due to a drink-driving offence late last year but will now also miss Canberra’s second game against North Queensland after on Monday accepting a shoulder charge ban after a hit on David Fifita during the Maori team’s win over the Indigenous All Stars on the weekend.

Walsh was also banned from round one at the Warriors for a contrary conduct charge but, like Rapana, that will also be served simultaneously with his other suspension.

Former Canberra centre Curtis Scott was trying to revive his career at Parramatta but will not have his contract registered by the NRL until domestic violence allegations are resolved in court.

Ex-Broncos playmaker Anthony Milford is in a similar boat – he was due to begin a one-year contract with South Sydney but his career is now in limbo as he faces assault allegations following an incident three bystanders outside a Brisbane nightspot in September.

Two players who would have been sidelined if they had stuck around in the NRL are Panthers premiership winner Tyrone May and Warriors forward Kane Evans, who are now both in the Super League.

May had his contract torn up by Penrith after he posted on social media following the grand final win a defiant message relating to an incident in which he pleaded pleaded guilty to four counts of intentionally recording an image without consent.

Evans had been suspended for six matches after copping three charges for a wild final game of the season last year at the Warriors in which he was marched for fighting.

May has joined Catalans Dragons while Evans has been signed by Hull FC but will not play until March as his NRL ban has carried over.

Under NRL rules, only players guilty of grade-three offences or higher are unable to take part in trials, so the likes of Mitchell, Grant and Verrills will be allowed to play in their club’s pre-season fixture but will be unable to suit up when the regular season kicks off.

The Bad Boys 17

1 Reece Walsh (Warriors): Out until round three due to a drugs ban.

2 Jordan Rapana (Raiders): Out until round three due to a shoulder charge ban.

3 Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs): Out until round three due to a high tackle ban.

4 Chris Lewis (Storm): Out until round three due to Mad Monday “white powder” scandal.

5 Curtis Scott (Eels): Contract will not be registered due to pending assault allegations.

6 Cameron Munster (Storm): Out until round three due to Mad Monday “white powder” scandal.

7 Anthony Milford (Rabbitohs): Contract will not be registered due to pending assault allegations.

8 Tui Kamikamica (Storm): Stood down under “no-fault stand down” rules due to assault allegations.

9 Harry Grant (Storm): Out until round two due to crusher tackle ban.

10 Matt Lodge (Warriors): Out until round two due to a dangerous contact ban.

11 Josh McGuire (Dragons): Out until round six due to two high tackle bans.

12 Marata Niukore (Eels): Out until round two due to high tackle ban.

13 Brandon Smith (Storm): Out until round three due to Mad Monday “white powder” scandal.

14. Sam Verrills (Roosters):> Out until round two due to a high tackle ban.

15 Sauaso Sue (Knights): Out until round three due to a dangerous contact ban.

16 Brendan Piakura (Broncos): Out until round two due to a dangerous contact ban.

17 Tom Flegler (Broncos): Out until round four due to a high tackle ban.

18th man Manase Fainu (Sea Eagles): Stood down under “no-fault stand down” rules due to stabbing allegations.

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