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Sonny Bill Williams facing month-long ban after shoulder charge

The former All Blacks centre will be banned for three games if he pleads guilty.

Source: NZAUTV Rugby League/YouTube

NEW ZEALAND’S DUAL international Sonny Bill Williams is facing up to four weeks on the sidelines after being cited by the National Rugby League for making a banned shoulder charge in the season opener.

The Kiwi superstar, who is returning to rugby union next year, is under the scrutiny of the league’s judiciary after using his shoulder in a tackle playing for the Sydney Roosters against South Sydney on Thursday.

Souths downed the defending NRL and world club champions 28-8 in a torrid match which featured a number of ferocious physical exchanges between the two local rivals.

Williams was hit with a grade-two shoulder charge for a tackle he made on South Sydney’s English prop George Burgess in the final minute of the match. The Kiwi, who is one of the NRL’s biggest stars, will receive a three-game ban from the judiciary if he takes an early guilty plea, or spend four games sidelined if he unsuccessfully contests the charge.

After banning the shoulder charge last year, the NRL deemed it would be made illegal by the Match Review Committee in the 2014 season.

© AFP, 2014

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