Charges were pressed heavily against former Australian international and NRL star, John Hopoate, after being found guilty of “very serious” offences.
The charges came from an incident that took place during a minor league match in July, where the 44-year-old played for Narraweena against Forestville.
Former Manly player, Hopoate, was penalised for a high tackle, then sent off for throwing a punch. Hopoate was then accused of threatening his opponents using bad language. He later told New South Wales Rugby League disciplinary review panel that he reacted after being racially abused by an opposition player.
Half of the ban has been suspended, meaning Hopoate could return to Rugby League on 21st July 2023, when he will be 49.
This isn’t the first suspension that he has had to serve after being suspended for a total of 45 weeks during his NRL career, including one 12 match ban for poking opponents’ backsides while at Wests Tigers in 2001, and a 17 match ban for a dangerous high shot in 2005.