Reece Walsh won’t play again for three weeks in brutal twist for Queensland and Broncos due to…

Joseph Suaalii might have played his last¬†State of Origin¬†game after the NSW centre was hit with a four-game suspension for his hit on Reece Walsh in the series opener on Wednesday night. Suaalii had a horror debut that lasted just seven minutes after he made direct contact with his shoulder to Walsh’s head in a nasty tackle after the Queensland fullback had passed the ball.

The Blues clearly went into the game with a plan to pressure and disrupt Walsh, but it backfired just seven minutes in. Suaalii rushed out of the line to put a shot on Walsh as the fullback collected the ball, but slammed his shoulder straight into Walsh’s face as he was passing.

Walsh’s head snapped back viciously and also thudded into the ground on the way down, and he appeared to lose consciousness for a brief period. He was immediately ruled out the game with a Category 1 concussion, and Suaalii was given his marching orders as a result.

Suaalii will spend four games on the sidelines with an early guilty plea, but it will increase to five if he challenges the grade-two reckless high tackle charge at the judiciary and fails. The 20-year-old is no guarantee to return to the NRL after his stint in rugby union – meaning he might be destined to only ever play one game (or seven minutes) of State of Origin.


“Disappointing to see him get sent off, but that’s the way they called it,” NSW coach Michael Maguire said after NSW went down 38-10 with 12 players. “It’s a big call at this level. Reece was falling, I’ll have to have another look at it but it’s a massive call.”