Former NRL star Corey Norman may have played his last game of professional rugby league after being charged over a controversial incident in the English Super League.
Norman faces a lengthy ban for "inappropriate contact" during a game for Toulouse, after appearing to target the backside of an opponent in scenes reminiscent of former league bad boy John Hopoate.
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The ex-Broncos, Eels and Dragons playmaker was handed a "Grade F" contrary conduct charge, which carries a minimum eight-match ban if Norman is found guilty at the judiciary this week.
The charge level is the most serious available in the English game's judicial system, and is reserved for only the most serious offences.
Norman was placed on report for a questionable play involving Warrington's Oliver Holmes, with the Toulouse player joining teammates in a tackle on the rival player.
Norman had been engaged in a running battle with Holmes for several plays, before a lengthy and contentious hold-down in the tackle on Thursday night.
The 31-year-old's hands can be seen on replays reaching towards Holmes' buttocks, before a complaint is immediately lodged by the Warrington lock.
The incident has left the league world in shock, with many viewers describing Norman's actions as "vulgar" and "disgusting".
Disgraceful from ex St George Illawarra star Corey Norman
— Kris Dot (@KDiddyOfficial) August 16, 2022
Two decades after John Hopoate copped a 12-match ban for actions described as ‘disgusting’, Corey Norman has been hit with Super League’s most severe charge. https://t.co/jco1hdKpE8
— Qudach Australia (@QudachAU) August 15, 2022
— Sulli D (@SulloAU) August 16, 2022
Corey Norman on report for vulgar act https://t.co/EIs85ldIsw
— Wallup Daily News (@Brospar2022) August 16, 2022
#nrl Ahh welcome to the ranks of amateur proctology, Corey Norman...
— Some Sports Channels Ain't What They Used to Be (@crowdiegal) August 16, 2022
Former NRL star Corey Norman is facing a monster Super League ban after being accused of a vulgar act similar to the infamous John Hopoate finger incident.
MORE: https://t.co/IAGVlTgQOp pic.twitter.com/a8Vnv4i0rA
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) August 16, 2022
Corey Norman's league future hangs in balance
Norman was called out when play was stopped on the next tackle for a separate penalty, and the touch judge informed the referee of the misconduct allegation.
The Toulouse player was then placed on report for "inappropriate contact".
Norman announced his retirement from the NRL at the end of last year, before extending his career with a move to the Super League.
He signed a deal for the rest of the 2022 season only with Toulouse in April, which has so far not been renewed.
There are just four games left in Toulouse's season, meaning any ban would extend into next year if Norman did pick up another contract.
It leaves Norman facing the very real possibility that he's played his last game of rugby league, unless another club hands him a lifeline or Toulouse extends his contract.
The French-based club currently sit last on the ladder, and are bound for relegation to the Championship unless they can win at least two of their remaining matches, meaning the prospect of retaining Norman is slim at best.
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