Big news out of Newcastle Knights with Jarrod Mullen returning a positive A-sample for an anabolic s...
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The Sea Eagles star was considered a certainty for selection when NSW name their team for the May 23 clash with Queensland tomorrow. But the grade one charge arising from Friday's win over Parramatta now has him in serious doubt, with Lyon facing a one-match suspension unless he successfully fights the charge at the judiciary.
Lyon could have avoided suspension with an early guilty plea if it was not for loading from a prior offence while playing for St Helens in the English Super League last year. Queensland, meanwhile, have received some good news with North Queensland duo Carl Webb and Jacob Lillyman both cleared over incidents from the Cowboys loss to Penrith on Saturday.
Selectors will announce the side for Origin one Tuesday morning, Mullen in consideration despite having only five games under his belt as Newcastle's first choice halfback following the retirement of Andrew Johns.
The three other playmakers - Brett Kimmorley, Matt Orford and Craig Gower - all failed to impress over the weekend, leaving Mullen likely to partner Braith Anasta in the NSW halves. Mullen's Newcastle teammate Kurt Gidley all but nailed down a Blues bench spot in his side's win over the New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah likely to miss out.
Penrith officials are confident Gower will be right to play for the Blues if selected after his hamstring strain on Saturday night.
Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan says the NRL club has no concerns over their supporter base despite setting a seven-year low for attendance. Only 6,246 fans witnessed bottom-placed Roosters beat newcomers Gold Coast 24-18 at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.
It was the club's lowest turnout since 2000 and the NRL's smallest crowd of 2007. But Canavan says he is confident support remains strong for the club, claiming the low figure was to be expected given it was Mother's Day, kickoff was at the earlier time of 2pm, and the Roosters were playing the NRL's newest club.
Michael Monaghan's manager insists the Manly NRL star has not yet made a final decision on where he will play next year. Monaghan has been granted a release from the final year of his contract at the Sea Eagles in 2008, with reports today claiming he is set to announce his signing with English Super League clubs Warrington or Hull.
But the playmaker's manager Jim Banaghan says no deals have yet been done. Banaghan has told Sydney radio 2KY he will meet with Monaghan this afternoon to discuss his future after receiving formal offers from three Super League clubs and NRL rivals the Wests Tigers.
Mason is certain to be named in the Blues side on Tuesday morning but Premier League prop Jon Green on standby to replace him tonight. As many as 13 players from both sides are in contention for Origin selection.