Catalans Dragons’ Greg Bird facing Challenge Cup semi-final ban

Former Australia forward Greg Bird is set to miss the Catalans Dragons’ bid to reach the Challenge Cup final.

The 33-year-old has been charged with a grade D offence of making dangerous contact on an opponent during the Catalans’ 25-20 Super League defeat at Wigan last Friday.

Bird will face a ban of three to five matches if he is found guilty when he appears in front of a Rugby Football League disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.

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He was charged by the RFL’s match review panel, which ruled that Kenny Edwards’ dismissal against Wigan was sufficient punishment, thereby freeing him up to face St Helens in Sunday’s first cup semi-final at Bolton.

The availability of Edwards, who made his Dragons debut in their 20-6 quarter-final win at Huddersfield and appeared in each of their last eight matches of the Super League season, is a boost for Steve McNamara’s men but the potential loss of Bird is a major blow.

Bird has played in all but three of the French club’s 23 league games in 2018 and played a key role in their transformation.

Wigan forward Taulima Tautai is also facing a ban of up to five matches for a grade D dangerous tackle in the same game.

2:04 Lee Mossop was sent off in Salford's win over Leeds

Meanwhile, Salford prop Lee Mossop avoided suspension for his dismissal in his side’s 38-22 win over Leeds after the panel decided he made only light contact with his headbutt, but Rhinos second-rower Jordan Thompson is facing a two-match ban for a grade C dangerous tackle.

Thompson, who made his debut for Leeds at Salford after joining them on loan from Leigh, is ineligible for Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against Warrington and so will serve his suspension in the Qualifiers.

Hull KR face being without second-rower Maurice Blair and winger Will Oakes for the start of their Qualifiers campaign.

Blair, who was sin-binned by referee Gareth Hewer for dissent during his side’s 20-16 derby win over Hull FC, will face a hearing over a grade D offence of “other contrary behaviour”, while Oakes has been handed a one-match penalty notice for a trip.