3 Apr 2014

McLean gets 7 weeks for lifting tackle

2:08 pm on 3 April 2014

The Melbourne Storm league prop Jordan McLean has been suspended for seven weeks for the lifting tackle on Alex McKinnon which has left the 22-year-old Newcastle back-rower with a devastating spinal injury.

The three-man panel needed less than 10 minutes on Wednesday night to find McLean guilty after one of the most anticipated judiciary hearings in the game's history.

After successfully convincing the panel of McLean's "substantial" involvement in the three-man tackle gone wrong, the NRL counsel Peter Kite sought a ban of between seven and 11 weeks.

McKinnon remains in a Melbourne hospital in a serious but stable condition with a broken neck and it's understood he's been told he'll never be able to walk again.

A shattered McLean was stone-faced throughout the hour-long hearing at league headquarters in Sydney, refusing to watch any of the more than 30 replays of the tackle that were shown over and over from eight different camera angles.

The prosecution successfully argued that while the other two players involved in the tackle, Storm brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, undoubtedly contributed to the tackle gone wrong, "substantial responsibility for the lift was borne by McLean".

The Storm chief executive Mark Evans has indicated the club might appeal against the decision.