There has been a fair bit of talk throughout the week about Greg Bird's suspension for a dangerous lifting tackle which occured during Australia's disappointing loss in the ANZAC test.
For mine, it should not be a talking point at all. Reason? I don't think Bird should have been playing in the first place.
For a sport dealing with more than its fair share of off field dramas (Dane Nielson being the latest), I find it baffling how Tim Sheens chose to select Bird with his cocaine charges lying over his head. Of course, the man is innocent until proven guilty- but for someone who has a colourful background of ill-discipline, surely he has run out of chances.
For those with hazy memory, Bird was suspended for 10 weeks as a young player for cowardly kneeing an opponent in the head, whilst he was down in a tackle.
Then of course, was the glassing incident where his girlfriend ended up with a fractured eye socket. The public urination on his honeymoon and cocaine charges has furthered his repuation for off field problems.
Amongst these off field problems were continual on-field suspensions, notably for dangerous throws. It seem the man isn't learning at all.
We've seen the tragedy of Alex McKinnon, where a tackle gone wrong has not only cost Alex his football career, but will negatively affect the rest of his life. Yet Greg is still happy for tackles like that of the weekend to continue.
There are plenty of young back-row options - Matt Gillett, Josh Jackson, Josh Papalii, Aiden Guerra, Boyd Cordner - for Tim Sheens to choose from, and if he were to be the coach for the next game, I'd like to think he'd choose a little more wisely.