SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: James Tamou of the Tigers looks on with his team-mates after a Rabbitohs try during the round 16 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Leichhardt Oval on July 04, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

While James Tamou's successful downgrade means we will see the premiership-winning prop in the NRL again, beyond the next fortnight, things are still cloudy for the Wests Tigers captain.

Tamou successfully argued his way into a downgrade at the judiciary on Tuesday night, receiving just a one-week suspension for labelling the on-field referee 'f***ing incompetent'.

The former Cowboy and Panther will sit out this weekend's game against St George Illawarra at CommBank Stadium, before facing the Canberra Raiders at Leichhardt Oval the following week for his Wests Tigers swan song.

Tamou claims he was embarrassed by what he said in the final minute of a 72-6 flogging at the hands of the Sydney Roosters, and he's still unsure whether the Canberra clash will be his final match in the NRL.

“To play one more time with them will be unreal, I’m pretty happy with that," Tamou told the press following his judiciary win.

“If it’s my last game in the NRL, I’m not too sure.

“We’ll see where the off-season goes. Who knows, it could be the last time I suit up on Sunday. Everything is on the table, including retirement.”

NRL Rd 8 - Dragons v Wests Tigers
WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: James Tamou of the Tigers is tackled during the round eight NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers at WIN Stadium, on May 02, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The former Kangaroo says his outburst was out of character, and isn't an accurate reflection of the man he is.

“I’m embarrassed and appalled by my behaviour.

“I can’t watch it. I’m coaching kids and how do I explain that behaviour to them? How do they look up to someone like me when they see that on TV?

“I’ve played 300 games and I’ve never spoken that way to a referee.”

Adam Doueihi will captain the Wests Tigers in Tamou's absence this weekend, a nod to the future with the five-eighth reportedly a front-runner to earn the captaincy full-time in 2023.

No potential suitors have emerged for Tamou's signature as of yet, making retirement the most likely option heading into the final fortnight of the regular season.