Cowboys statement regarding James Tamou

North Queensland Cowboys NRL squad member James Tamou has been stood down from Friday night’s clash with St George Illawarra and will be ineligible for selection for New South Wales in the upcoming second State of Origin match.

He will also be fined $20,000 by the NRL in addition to not receiving the Origin match payment he would have earned had he retained his Blues position from Game One.

Tamou was charged with high-range drink-driving and unlicensed driving when he was pulled over by police in Townsville on Monday morning.

Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said the stand down decisions, reached jointly by the club and NRL, reflected the seriousness of Tamou’s offences.

“These penalties have been reached after consultation between the club and the NRL integrity unit which was established to ensure matters like this are treated appropriately across the game,” Mr Jourdain said.

“What has happened in this instance is clearly unacceptable to us and the NRL.

“James returned a very high reading and was driving unlicensed – two offences that can never be condoned.

“We believe the two-game punishment is appropriate. He is missing a crucial game for his club and the honour of again representing the Blues in what could be an historic Origin clash.

“The NRL has decided to also impose a $20,000 fine on top of missing his Origin match fee.

“James has shown enormous remorse for his actions and we don’t expect him to reoffend.”

Scott Bolton has been promoted to the starting pack as Tamou’s replacement for the clash with the Dragons, with Gavin Cooper added to the travelling squad.