Maurie Fa'asavalu, the St Helens prop forward, will appear before a Rugby Football League's disciplinary panel today accused of an illegal tackling technique. The Samoa-born England international has been charged with using a tackling technique that places undue pressure on the joints of players, a grade C offence that was dubbed a "chicken wing" tackle in Australia where attempts have been made to outlaw it.
Fa'asavalu was cited by the RFL's match review panel for an incident during Saints' 4-0 win over Celtic Crusaders in Bridgend on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Leeds prop Ryan Bailey has received a formal caution for punching during his side's 20-14 win at Warrington on Sunday. Warrington second rower Louis Anderson has been sent a warning letter for his involvement in the same incident, which was placed on report.
Shaun McRae, the Salford coach, has received a vote of confidence from club chairman John Wilkinson despite his side's woeful start to the Super League season. McRae has come under fire from fans following three successive defeats and is the favourite to become the first coaching casualty of the season. Wilkinson told the Manchester Evening News: "Shaun has an important job to do and he will carry on doing that job.
"It's the players who must start playing as a team. Three defeats have obviously left me feeling disappointed but a good coach doesn't become a bad one overnight." Huddersfield winger Martin Aspinwall has been ruled out for a month after tearing a calf muscle in the Giants' 24-20 home defeat by Hull on Friday night. Second rower Andy Raleigh has also joined the club's growing injury list with a dislocated finger which is set to sideline him for a fortnight.
Huddersfield are already without prop Eorl Crabtree (hamstring), second rower Simon Finnigan (knee) and hooker Shaun Lunt (back) as they prepare for Saturday's trip to Castleford. "We're definitely going through our fair share of heartache on the injury front but so are other clubs as well," said coach Nathan Brown. "There's no doubt it's going to test the quality of our squad but I believe we're more than capable of overcoming this number of losses."
Wakefield's Australian hooker Brad Drew, 33, has been voted player of the month for February by the Super League's coaches ahead of Danny Tickle (Hull) and Brett Hodgson (Huddersfield). @Email:email@example.com