Josh McGuire ban: Eight of the other longest suspensions in Super League history

James Gordon
Josh McGuire handed one of the longest bans in Super League history

Josh McGuire’s Warrington future hangs in the balance after he was handed a monster 12-match ban for the use of unacceptable language.

It means the former Australia forward has now already been banned for a total of 19 matches since his arrival at the Halliwell Jones Stadium – that’s more games than each club in League One will play in total this season.

He has made just seven appearances for the Wolves, and his displays have been in stark contrast to the impressive impact made by fellow off-season signing from the NRL, Paul Vaughan, who has already been rewarded with a new deal.

There are growing reports that Josh McGuire could be on his way out of Warrington, though coach Daryl Powell remained coy in his weekly press conference.

There is still a chance too that McGuire might appeal the ban decision, and he has until Tuesday to inform the RFL of his intention to appeal.

Josh McGuire – 12 matches

Josh McGuire was handed a second Grade F charge for unacceptable language this season following a comment believed to be targeted towards Leigh Leopards winger Josh Charnley.

The former Brisbane, North Queensland and St George Illawarra forward had sat out the start of the Super League season after a similar incident in a pre-season game against Leigh.

After the incident was referred for further investigation, a tribunal slapped Josh McGuire with a huge ban.

The RFL’s operational rules state: “verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, disability, national or ethnic origin or any other form of unacceptable behaviour or language.”

He was fined £1,000 and required to undertake mandatory education following the first incident.

Terry Newton – 12 matches

Wigan hooker Terry Newton received what was then the longest ban in Super League history for an incident against St Helens in September 2005 that left Great Britain scrum-half Sean Long with a broken cheekbone. Lee Gilmour was also left unconscious, leaving Newton facing a 10-match ban.

He appealed the decision, but it was increased and ruled him out for a total of 12 matches instead, including one pre-season game.

Newton’s solicitor Richard Kramer said at the time: “Terry is shocked and devastated. I thought we had proved his innocence in the Sean Long incident but there is little more we can do.”

Ben Flower – 6 months (11 matches)

Arguably the most infamous disciplinary incident in Super League history, the Wales international was shown a red card in the early minutes of Wigan’s Super League Grand Final loss to St Helens in 2014.

Flower was captured by the Sky Sports TV cameras landed a punch on a stricken Lance Hohaia, who would later be forced to retire from the sport due to the side effects of concussion. A first punch had caused Hohaia to be knocked to the ground.

As it was the final game of the season, Flower ultimately only missed 11 games over the course of his six-month ban.

His ban was announced the day before the 2014 European Championship, where Flower could have been a contender to represent Wales for their games against Scotland, France and Ireland.

Kenny Edwards – 10 matches

Kenny Edwards was given a 10-match ban in 2021 for an unsavoury incident where he putting his finger up the bottom of an opponent.

The incident occurred when the forward played for Huddersfield and involved Catalans player Sam Kasiano.

Edwards was charged with a Grade F offence by the RFL’s match review panel for ‘other contrary behaviour’ and also fined £500.

Sonny Nickle – 9 matches

Leeds-born forward Sonny Nickle was initially suspended for six-months while playing for St Helens following a tackle on Leeds hooker Robbie Mears which broke his jaw.

He appealed and despite it being upheld, the ban was then changed to nine matches, which in theory meant he missed even more action. St Helens tried to find a loophole and register Nickle to play for Barrow to try and run through his ban quicker, but it was blocked by the RFL.

Jamie Acton – 4 months (11 matches)

Leigh prop Jamie Acton was given a hefty suspension for man-handling an injured Greg Bird during a game against Catalans.

It is something that has been clamped down on in recent years, and he was charged in 2017 with a grade F offence of ‘other contrary behaviour.’

His initial nine-match ban was upgraded to four months. He ended up missing 11 games, including the Million Pound Game defeat to Catalans that saw Leigh relegated.

He made his return to competitive action in Leigh’s opening Championship fixture against Toronto Wolfpack.

Joel Tomkins – 8 matches

Joel Tomkins in action for Catalans Catalans forward Joel Tomkins was suspended for eight matches for a charge of ‘other contrary behaviour’ after poking the backside of Richie Myler.

The incident was spotted by fans watching the game on TV and although Myler didn’t make a formal complaint, Tomkins was cited by the match review panel.

Tom Lineham – 8 matches

Another episode of ‘other contrary behaviour’ saw Warrington’s Tom Lineham slapped with an eight-match ban in 2020.

He was found guilty of grabbing the testicles of opponent Alex Foster in a game against Castleford, which led to him being handed a Grade F charge.

Corey Norman – 8 matches

Corey Norman was brought in to try and steer Toulouse to Super League safety and he failed in that regard, and also ended his season under a cloud.

He was banned for eight games for reaching between the legs of Warrington forward Oliver Holmes during what was a key match in the relegation battle.

Norman received a Grade F charge for ‘inappropriate contact’ and subsequently missed Toulouse’s final four games of the season.

The RFL ruling said: “The footage of the incident shows a deliberate movement of Corey Norman’s left arm and hand over the top of Oliver Holmes and on to his buttocks.”

READ MORE: Why Corey Norman will have to wait to make his London Broncos debut