Parramatta Eels recruit Tony Williams has been suspended for two NRL games after a Sydney magistrate found him to have been “shockingly intoxicated” while driving with three children in his car.
Williams was sentenced for mid-range drink-driving last December, with the 29-year-old’s licence suspended for 12 months and a $1000 fine handed down on Wednesday morning.
Magistrate Jennifer Giles told Williams he was “exceptionally lucky you did not hurt or kill someone, or yourself”.
In the wake of the legal ruling, Parramatta have also handed Williams a two-match ban, ruling him out of their season-opening clash with Penrith Panthers on March 11 and their round-two blockbuster against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
“The club views drink driving as an extremely serious offence and we have reiterated to Tony that this behaviour is unacceptable,” Eels CEO Bernie Gurr said in a statement.
Williams made the Eels and the NRL Integrity Unit aware of his charge late last year after signing a one-year deal to return to his junior club.
Once regarded as the game’s most damaging forward when he shot to prominence as a premiership winner with Manly, he was handed the lifeline by Brad Arthur after underwhelming stints at the Cronulla Sharks and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Williams’s suspension means he will next be available for selection in Parramatta’s round-three game against Cronulla, though a return via NSW Cup is most likely considering the Eels’ strong back-row stocks.