Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Jr. is facing a ban of up to four weeks for his tackle on Cameron Murray in Brisbane’s Thursday night loss to the Rabbitohs.
Pangai Jr. was hit with a grade-one charge for his shot, but due to his four prior offences, could be rubbed out for four weeks if he pleads his case and is found guilty.
He will miss three matches if he takes the early guilty plea.
Considered an outside chance for Origin selection in Game One, Pangai Jr’s ban will rule him out of Game Two either way.
The ban compounds what has been a tough week for the 25-year-old, who was told he is free to negotiate with rival clubs, despite being contracted at Brisbane until the end of 2022.
Pangai Jr. could leave Red Hill as early as this week should he attract interest on the open market.
He has already been linked with a move to the Tigers.
“(Brisbane) got me in on my day off and told me I’m free to look elsewhere,” Pangai Jr told reporters on Thursday night.
“I thought I was under contract, but contracts don’t mean much these days. So I just have to cop it on the chin and get my manager to do his job.”
Fellow forward Matt Lodge is rumoured to be on the outer at the club as well, as Brisbane coach Kevin Walters overhauls his roster in the hopes of restoring the club to its former glory.
With Rabbitohs star Adam Reynolds packing his bag for Brisbane next season, million-dollar playmaker Anthony Milford is unlikely to survive Walters’ cull.
The 26-year-old has struggled for form in 2021 and, consequently, has spent time in reserve grade.
The Broncos have cycled through seven unique halves combinations under Walters this season, with the new coach reluctant to settle on a pairing.
“For mine I see the Broncos as always being an urgent club,” Walters said after Thursday night’s drubbing.
“Everything we do needs to be first class and professional, that hasn’t happened in the last three or four years.
“Everyone has had 15 weeks to prove themselves and their value on the football field.
“We are all under the microscope, not just players, coaches, performance staff, everyone is in the firing line.”
Walters was as good as his word.
News Corp reports the Broncos are set to part ways with both their head of football Peter Nolan and head of performance Andrew Croll.