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Jordan McLean cleared to play despite Alex McKinnon tackle charge

The tackle: Alex McKinnon is crushed under three Storm defenders.

The tackle: Alex McKinnon is crushed under three Storm defenders. Photo: Fox Sports

The NRL has given Melbourne permission to select youngster Jordan McLean for their clash with Canterbury at NIB Stadium in Perth.

McLean was referred straight to the judiciary for his role in a tackle that resulted in Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon suffering what his club described as a "devastating spinal injury" while Newcastle assistant coach Rick Stone described the incident as a "freak accident". McLean's hearing will be on Wednesday.

The Storm sought leave from the NRL judiciary for McLean to be available for selection against the Bulldogs. Under NRL rules, any player facing a charge under the judiciary code is not permitted to play until the case has been heard.

However, the judiciary code also makes provision for the player's club to seek leave from the judiciary chairman. Storm officials believe playing this weekend will help McLean deal with the fallout.

The NRL announced on Thursday the McLean will be allowed to play.

McKinnon, described as a potential future Blues player by NSW coach Laurie Daley, suffered fractures of his C4 and C5 vertebrate, and underwent emergency surgery to stabilise his neck. The full extent of the injury remains unclear.

12 comments so far

  • While the NRL's decision to let him play is typically soft, the Storm's decision to request that he can is unthinkable. While these three players are no doubt having trouble sleeping at night from guilt, the Storm administration has confirmed what everyone knows, they are win at all costs, stuff the consequences. The blame doesn't lie with these three players, they are simply carrying out what their management has trained them to do. Shame on you Storm.

    John B
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 7:54AM
    • This is not an appropriate situation for you or anyone else to vent your petty club hate. As Rick Stone said, it was a freak accident. No one wants to see any player injured, especially not in the devastating way that young McKinnon has been. But the reality is that if there was no injury, the tackle would not even have been penalised, let alone brought before the judiciary. As the TV commentators noted on the night, it was the mildest of around half a dozen lifting tackles in the game - from both sides. Everyone involved in league from the top management through to the fans feels devastated and distressed by this. But nobody needs to feel shame.

      Short Memory
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:08PM
    • So lets do away with the processes put in place and not worry about a judiciary hearing? It's a tackle that all teams do every week multiple times)and this one has gone horribly wrong. Perhaps it's time the rules were changed to avoid a similar situation and all teams will have to change their style.

      Tired Camel
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:57PM
    • Punishment should matched to the players actions and not the end result. Thank goodness you are not on the judiciary.

      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:24PM
    • A freak accident when McLean put his hand between McKinnon's legs so he could cowardly and easily lift McK off his feet? That tackle was illegal and he should rubbed from the game for the season as a lesson for all aspiring and current league players. The third tackle was dangerous in my view.

      Date and time
      March 28, 2014, 11:15AM
  • Disgraceful decision by the NRL and shame on your Melbourne. Sure the three players are worried, but how about the feelings of Alex McKinnon parents. No wonder parents don't want their children playing NRL. Shocking decision

    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:31AM
    • What the hell does this decision have to do with Alex McKinnon and his parents?

      Do you really think they are sitting by his bedside exchanging text messages and emails discussing the why's and wherefore's of whether Jordan McLean is going to be in the line-up this week?

      Or do you think they'll be a little more focused on their child and the fact that he'll be battling to walk again?

      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:13PM
  • Ridiculous comment. It was an accident. No one's fault. Our society wants to lay blame on people but unfortunately sometimes these things happen and no one is at fault. All the best to Alex.

    John C
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:32AM
    • Off course it was an accident but out of respect to Alex's loved one the players involved should be stood down for the immediate future.

      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:18PM
    • ....sure it was an accident, but why was it unsurprising that this accident happened in a tackle carried out by Melbuorne Storm players?

      Ian Parschal
      Date and time
      March 28, 2014, 9:30AM

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