Dom Young set to miss NRL season opener in Las Vegas after brutal development

Manly's prop is facing a ban over the contentious tackle on the star Roosters recruit.

Pictured here, Roosters NRL recruit Dom Young.
Roosters recruit Dom Young is set to miss the NRL season opener in Las Vegas after falling victim to a crusher tackle against Manly. Pic: Instagram/AAP

The Roosters look set to be without star recruit Dom Young for their NRL season opener in Las Vegas after a crusher tackle from Manly's Toff Sipley that saw him taken to hospital on Saturday. Sipley has been hit with a three-game suspension and will also miss Manly's trip to the United States after being charged with a grade two crusher charge and accepting the early guilty plea.

Young was in obvious discomfort after the crusher tackle, as the force of Sipley's body came down on the back of his beck but was able to walk from the field. He was later seen being stretchered out of Central Coast Stadium and placed in the back of an ambulance, before being taken to hospital for scans.

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The former Newcastle flyer said he felt "all good" after the incident, with initial scans clearing him of serious damage. However, News Corp league reporter Phil Rothfield says follow-up X-rays and scans revealed the 22-year-old suffered ligament damage that could require surgery.

It's understood Young would likely return for the early rounds of the new season but his omission from the Roosters' Las Vegas touring party is sure to be a massive blow to the club and the game. Young was the leading try scorer for the Knights in 2023 and one of his extraordinary four-pointers was used in the NRL's flashy campaign to market the game to the American audience.

The England international had initially allayed the fears of fans by taking to social media to provide an update on his condition. "I'm all good. Appreciate all the messages!" said Young, who was playing his first game since joining the Roosters from Newcastle in the off-season as the Roosters ran out 36-22 winners.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the game the club wasn't prepared to take any risks around the neck injury: “He’s good, it’s just when you’re dealing with the neck, you want to be precautionary so he’s just gone to the hospital to get a scan," Robinson said. "He was good in there (the dressing room) talking and sitting up and all that, but they just want to keep it stable just so we know what’s exactly wrong with it. But he was in good spirits and he was fine."

Toff Sipley facing three-game ban

Sipley was placed on report by referee Peter Gough after the incident but perhaps controversially escaped going to the sin bin. The Sea Eagles prop was later slapped with a grade two crusher tackle charge from the match review committee on Sunday.

The Manly middle forward would almost certainly have been part of the Sea Eagles' 17-man squad for the Las Vegas season-opener against South Sydney match at Allegiant Stadium on March 3. Sipley will now be out for three weeks after taking the early guilty plea.

Seen here, Manly's Toff Sipley.
Manly's Toff Sipley is facing a three-game ban from the NRL after being hit with a grade two crusher charge. Pic: Getty

His absence is another blow to a Sea Eagles side that struggled in the middle of the park last season and is already missing the injured Matt Lodge long-term. Robinson conceded the tackle from Sipley was an "accident" but suggested he was lucky to stay on the field after the forceful contact to the back of Young's neck.

"I thought it was accidental and didn't look good," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said of Sipley's tackle. "There was a lot of force at that point... I don't know what their (the referees') thought process is during the trial games... so I don't really have an opinion on that apart from exactly how it was," he said about a potential sin bin.

Young's likely unavailability leaves Robinson with a decision to make about his starting side for the Las Vegas season-opener against last year's grand finalists, the Brisbane Broncos. The Roosters coach has a number of quality backline options at his disposal in the form of Billy Smith, Joseph Suaalii, Joey Manu, Junior Pauga and Daniel Tupou - who is probably the most likely to fill Young's position on the wing.

with AAP

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