NRL 2020: NZ Warriors' Wayde Egan in hot water for potential eye gouge on Latrell Mitchell

NZ Warriors hooker Wayde Egan will face the NRL judiciary for an apparent eye gouge on South Sydney Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell.

During the second half of the Warriors' 40-12 defeat, Egan was involved in a tackle on Mitchell in which he appeared to rake his fingers across the face of the Rabbitohs fullback.

Mitchell was left furious and grabbed Egan afterwards, with players from both teams stepping in to calm things down. 

Initially, it looked as if Mitchell's reaction had come from being grabbed around the neck, but replays showed Egan's fingers making contact with Mitchell's face. 

Neither player was penalised for the incident, but on Saturday, Egan was slapped with a grade two contrary conduct charge. He faces a one-match ban with an early guilty plea or two matches if he challenges unsuccessfully.

Last season, Canberra Raiders' Hudson Young was banned for eight games for eye-gouging Warriors wing Adam Pompey.

Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett wasn't interested in talking about the incident afterwards. 

"That's a matter for the game to make a decision about," Bennett told media. "I'm sitting in the stand like you are, so it's not something I'm going to buy into."

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said he'd be shocked if Egan intentionally eye gouged an opponent. 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck comforts Latrell Mitchell.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck comforts Latrell Mitchell. Photo credit: Getty

"I'll have to have a closer look at it," Kearney said. "Wayde Egan, he's as good as they come.

"I couldn't imagine that being the case, no way in the world... a kid from Lithgow, he's a good lad."

After the match, cameras in the changing rooms showed Mitchell in tears, and being comforted by Bennett and Rabbitohs teammates. 

When asked if the incident was related to the eye gouge, Bennett snapped.

"No, I'm not going to tell you why," Bennett said. "It's got nothing to do with you, to be honest with you.

"The change room has always been a sacred place. Unfortunately, the game gave away a lot of our rights to those places, but in my mind and my headset, it's a place where we can go and be who we want to be, and not have to answer to anybody about it.

"The fans would love to know a lot of things that we won't tell them. They won't be disappointed, they'll understand our position on it." 

Join us at 8pm Friday for live updates of the NZ Warriors v Melbourne Storm NRL clash 

NRL 2020: NZ Warriors' Wayde Egan in hot water for potential eye gouge on Latrell Mitchell