Maurice Blair at Melbourne Storm training.
Maurice Blair at Melbourne Storm training. Robert Prezioso

Blair free to play with Storm

MARYBOROUGH product Maurice Blair will make his long-awaited return to first grade tonight less than 48 hours after he was cleared of an assault charge.

Blair will line up for the Melbourne Storm at five-eighth against the Wests Tigers - his first NRL match since he was charged with assaulting a woman outside a Gold Coast nightclub on March 18.

A bungle from the police resulted in the 27-year-old's charge struck out in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday.

Blair's defence lawyer Colin Greatorix successfully argued for the charge be dropped as there were "two fundamental flaws" in the official court notice, including the wrong date for him to appear in court.

While he hadn't spoken to Blair, Greatorix was confident his client would be able to put his latest off-field drama behind him and concentrate on rebuilding his rugby league career with the current competition leaders.

"He's a wonderful player and I hope he can get his head back into the game and play well," Greatorix told the Chronicle.