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Threat of Origin ban hanging over Tonga
Topic Started: Jan 25 2012, 04:45 PM (318 Views)
stacey
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Source: www.smh.com.au

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"He faces a two-year Origin ban if found guilty of
breaching strict conduct guidelines". Photo: Getty Images


YOUNG centre Esi Tonga's hopes of playing Origin football for Queensland, like his older brother Willie, could be crushed by a two-year representative ban.

The 23-year-old Parramatta centre has been summonsed to appear before a Queensland Rugby League panel after breaking a team curfew and missing training during last weekend's Emerging Origin camp in Brisbane under Queensland Academy of Sport head coach Wayne Bennett and Queensland coach Mal Meninga.

He faces a two-year Origin ban if found guilty of breaching strict conduct guidelines. It is believed Tonga has admitted to Meninga he ''messed up''. However, the QRL said he had to face a special hearing before his punishment was determined.

Tonga is in hot water for defying an 11.30pm curfew on Saturday night. Players had gathered for dinner and a few drinks earlier in the evening and Tonga, who did not return to his hotel before the deadline, also failed to attend training the next morning under Bennett.

QRL chief executive Robert Moore said yesterday the QRL would not hesitate to ban Tonga from representative selection if the panel saw fit.

Tonga, who struggled with the Titans last year, will join his brother Willie, who has left North Queensland, at the Eels this season.

St George Illawarra utility Nathan Fien has been called into Wayne Bennett's NRL All Stars team after Dragons captain Ben Hornby was forced to withdraw through injury. Cameron Smith has also pulled out of the clash.

Hornby, one of Bennett's selections in his team to take on the Indigenous All Stars on February 4, suffered a thigh injury at Dragons training and will miss the match at Skilled Park.

Fien's versatility has seen him earn the call up, brought in as a back-up for halves Cooper Cronk and Benji Marshall and Smith's eventual replacement.

Hornby will undergo a medical assessment tomorrow but is not expected to miss the Dragons' opening match against Bennett's Newcastle on March 1.

Canberra have boosted the depth in their outside backs with the signing of former Manly and North Queensland winger Michael Bani to a one-year deal.

Speedster Bani struggled to cement a place at the Cowboys and battled injury during his time at the Townsville club, particularly last year.

Cronulla's Isaac Gordon has pleaded guilty to the common assault of his former girlfriend, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the incident.

Gordon appeared at Sutherland Local Court today and agreed to the plea in exchange for the Crown withdrawing a more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The 25-year-old was handed a 12-month apprehended violence order and an 18-month good behaviour bond.

With AAP




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