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James Tamou to miss Origin II after drink-drive charge

Staff Reporter 6/12/2013 | |
Nervous wait: James Tamou.
Out of Origin II ... James Tamou Photo: Getty Images

NSW prop James Tamou will be sidelined for game two of the State of Origin series as a result of a two-match suspension after being charged with driving nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit and without a licence.
The ban, after discussions between the Cowboys and the NRL's integrity unit, was announced by officials on Wednesday.
Tamou was also fined $20,000. With the player forgoing $30,000 bonus for playing in Origin II, he has effectively been fined $50,000.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the penalties reflected the seriousness of the offences.
“This is a high level, high risk, high penalty situation,” Smith said. “Drink driving puts lives at risk. Our players are well educated regarding alcohol management and there is no excuse for such behaviour.
“Our Integrity Unit has reviewed the situation, we have consulted with the Cowboys and we have sent a clear message of what is expected of our players.”
A statement said the NRL will also work with the Cowboys and Tamou to implement additional education and welfare programs, including responsible driver education.
The Australian Test prop was charged by police after recording an alcohol concentration of 0.197 when he was pulled over at about 3.30am Monday in the suburb of North Ward.
Tamou will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on July 2 on charges of unlicensed driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, and has indicated he will plead guilty.
That clearly gave officials enough ammunition to come down on the player and after discussions between the parties, it was agreed that the 24-year-old would miss Friday's clash with St George Illawarra, and then Origin II on June 26.
Cowboys chief executive Peter Jourdain said Tamou’s actions were ‘‘clearly unacceptable to us and the NRL’’.
“James returned a very high reading and was driving unlicensed – two offences that can never be condoned,’’ Jourdain said. "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.’’

Sydney Morning Herald

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