Not guilty! Waerea-Hargreaves free to play Knights

Roosters forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has successfully overturned a two-game ban for contact he described as "a tap" on Cowboys big man Josh McGuire.

Waerea-Hargreaves had been facing two weeks on the sidelines for allegedly leading with the head against McGuire on Sunday but will now be free to lead the Tricolours’ pack against the nib Newcastle Knights at the SCG.

While his initial contact with McGuire sent the Origin forward flying backwards, it was Waerea-Hargreaves' follow-up effort in landing on McGuire – which was deemed to have been led by his head – that resulted in the charge.

The three-man judiciary panel of Frank Puletua, Bob Lindner and Sean Garlick took 10 minutes to find Waerea-Hargreaves not guilty after over an hour of evidence.

The 30-year-old successfully argued that his contact with McGuire's head was an "instinctive reaction" aimed at avoiding injury as his "face was in a vulnerable position, [prompting him to] duck to avoid any dangerous contact."

His successful challenge of the grade one charge – which due to carry-over points had the Kiwi prop facing two weeks out – will see him free to take on Newcastle, who thumped the Tricolours by 38-12 in their last clash in round 11.

Waerea-Hargreaves copped a two-game suspension in that match as well, when his late hit on Kalyn Ponga sparked a melee late in the contest.