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Repeat offender George Burgess facing huge suspension for eye-gouging Robbie Farah

George Burgess could be hit with the longest ban handed down by the NRL judiciary since James Graham was given a 12-game suspension for his 2012 grand final bite.

Tonight will have State of Origin ramifications for Tariq Sims, who is challenging a charge that could rule him out of the series decider, but it is Burgess' eye-gouging charge that has pundits and players alike calling for the book to be thrown at the Englishman.

South Sydney enforcer Burgess, who was referred directly to the judiciary without a grading, has pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous contact (eye contact) after his ugly attack on former teammate Robbie Farah, which overshadowed the Rabbitohs' loss to Wests Tigers in round 15.

Burgess, who has a 50 per cent loading from a previous eye-gouge ban, is expected to be given at least a 10-match ban.

Farah has called on the judiciary to make an example of the repeat offender, arguing "we have to deter players from going out and doing those things".

"If punishments are strong enough, then players won't do it," he said.

Canberra forward Hudson Young was given a five-game ban this season for a grade- three eye gouge.

Burgess became the first player sent straight to the judiciary without a grading since Canberra's Sio Soliola, who was booked for his late hit on Billy Slater and ultimately given a five-match ban in 2017.

The Rabbitohs have nine regular-season matches remaining, so it is possible the off-contract forward might have played his final game for the club.

Burgess should at least avoid the unwanted record held by Danny Williams, who was given an 18-match ban in 2004 for a king hit on Mark O'Neill.

Longest NRL Suspensions

July 2004: Danny Williams, striking, 18 matches

March 2005: John Hopoate, striking, 17 matches

August 2004: Clint Newton, striking, 12 matches

March 2001: John Hopoate, contrary conduct, 12 matches

July 2012: Travis Burns, intentional high tackle, 12 matches

September 2012: James Graham, contrary conduct - biting, 12 matches


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