Wigan Warrior Taulima Tautai will appear before justices today charged with driving while almost double the legal alcohol limit.
The 31-year-old prop is the third cherry and white player to be accused of failing a breath test in the space of just eight months.
He was stopped by police in his black Volkswagen Tiguan on Ormskirk Road, Pemberton at 4.10am on Sunday, May 26, just hours after figuring in Wigan’s defeat to Warrington Wolves in the Magic Weekend showdown at Anfield last month.
Tautai, of Highfield, was breathalysed and it is claimed by prosecutors that a reading of 69 microgrammes of alcohol were found in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
He was due to stand in the dock at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this morning.
The court listing reminds defendants that the maximum penalties for drink-driving can be up to six months in prison or unlimited fines plus docked licence points.
Tautai is the third current Wigan player to be charged with drink-driving since last autumn.
Full-back Zak Hardaker was given a 20-month driving ban last October after testing more than twice the drink-drive limit.
And fringe player Craig Mullen, who has not played for the first-team this season, was banned for 12 months in April.
During an eventful season on and off the field for Wigan, prop Gabe Hamlin was also suspended from playing following a UK Anti-Doping violation. He has returned home to Australia as he waits for UKAD to conclude its case.
Tautai has played in Wigan’s last 10 games including Sunday’s 19-18 win at Hull KR.
A former NRL player with Parramatta and Cronulla, Tautai joined Warriors from Wakefield in 2015.
The Sydney-born prop was in the side which won the Grand Final in 2016 and the World Club Challenge the following year.
The Warriors handed him a new contract which runs until the end of the 2020 season.
The club was asked to comment on the court appearance but had not responded at the time of going to press.