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The NSWRL Conduct Review Panel has tonight (15 August) banned Narraweena Hawks and former NRL player John Hopoate from Rugby League for 10 years, of which the final five years are suspended, for three code of conduct charges following his send-off in a match last month.

Hopoate appeared before the NSWRL Conduct Review Panel who determined the very serious nature of the charges warranted the lengthy suspension.

Hopoate, who was already serving a suspension after pleading guilty to a medium range striking offence from the same match in a Manly District Junior Rugby League competition on 21 July, will not be eligible to play or have a role as an official in a Rugby League match until at least 21 July 2023.

Between 21 July 2023 and 20 July 2028 he will be eligible to apply to the NSW Rugby League for a specific role in the game.

The NSW Rugby League Chief Executive David Trodden said: "Every governing body has an obligation to the participants who play our game to ensure they can play in a safe and enjoyable environment.

"Incidents like these, which challenge that safe and enjoyable environment and damage the reputation of our sport, have no place in our game and must be dealt with appropriately to protect our game and the vast majority of participants who respect its rules."

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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