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NRL clears Williams to continue playing

The NRL will hold fire until after David Williams' day in court before determining whether the Manly winger will face any disciplinary action from the league.
NRL clears Williams to continue playing
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, July 5 AAP - The NRL will hold fire until after David Williams' day in court before determining whether the Manly winger will face any disciplinary action from the league.

Williams was on Tuesday charged with affray and offensive behaviour following an incident outside a Kings Cross nightclub in the early hours of May 27.

He will appear in court on August 13, the NRL claiming it was comfortable in letting the court proceedings be finalised before determining its final position on the matter.

Preliminary enquiries by the NRL Integrity Unit has determined that there was no clear breach of the code of conduct, with the facts relating to the charge still in dispute.

Williams has vowed to vigorously defend the charges.

The NRL's stance is in contrast to preemptive suspensions handed down to Blake Ferguson and James Tamou last month, though the circumstances surrounding those cases were far different.

Tamou, who is appealing a $20,000 fine handed down to him by the league, admitted his guilt to a drink driving charge and driving without a licence.

The NRL banned him for two games, including Origin II, while in court this week he was disqualified from driving for 15 months and fined $1820.

Ferguson, who will appear in court on July 16 on an assault charge, was stood down for a minimum four weeks.

He was also suspended earlier this year by the Raiders for an alcohol-related offence.

NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle said in a statement the stance taken with Williams was in line with the league's policy.

"We want to ensure a consistent and fair approach and in all cases that will commence with the Integrity Unit looking into any matter," Doyle said.

"Where there is clear evidence that demonstrates a breach of our rules we will always look to take the appropriate action.

"Where those facts are in dispute and subject to either police or court proceedings then, clearly, there are going to be times when we have to let those proceedings take their course before determining the game's reaction.

"Based on the Integrity Unit's inquiries to date, this is one of those times."




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