NRL: SBW to miss three games after guilty plea

Sonny Bill Williams.
Sonny Bill Williams.

Sonny Bill Williams will miss the Sydney Roosters' next three NRL games after pleading guilty to a grade two shoulder charge.

Williams will miss matches against Parramatta, Brisbane and the grand final rematch against Manly before returning for the Roosters' round five fixture against Canterbury.

The Roosters announced yesterday that Williams had taken the early guilty plea on a charge over his 80th minute tackle on Souths prop George Burgess in the premiers' 28-8 loss to South Sydney in the NRL season opener last Thursday.

In other judiciary charges from that game, Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello took the early guilty plea on a dangerous contact charge for a raised knee charge and will be available for Saturday night's round two encounter against the Eels at Allianz Stadium.

Souths playmaker Dylan Walker took the early guilty charge on a grade one tripping charge and is free to play in the Rabbitohs' match against Manly at Gosford on Friday.

Meanwhile, Will Hopoate admits he was taken aback by the physicality of his first NRL game in two years, but says his best form isn't too far away.

Hopoate looked impressive in the Eels' 36-16 win over the Warriors on Sunday despite having not played a competitive fixture since Manly's grand final win in 2012 due to his Mormon mission commitments.

The 21-year-old NSW representative laid on the first of Vai Toutai's hat-trick of tries and clocked up 115 metres with the ball in his hands on a memorable night for new coach Brad Arthur.

"It was physical, fast, there are things I need to improve on to help the team," Hopoate said.

"There is still a long way to go, but it's always a physical game against the Warriors and I was tossed around a fair bit, but it was a nice welcome back to the elite grade.

"I think sooner rather than later I will be back to my best, but it is a team game and all 17 blokes have to turn up and play."

Arthur was satisfied with the contribution of Hopoate and also fellow new boys Nathan Peats, Corey Norman and Manu Ma'u. Back-rower Ma'u had a barnstorming first game, racking up almost 180 metres in an eye-catching display. "He was pretty good," the coach said.

- AAP

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