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Newcastle captain Andrew Johns is set to miss the first week of the NRL finals after being charged with grade three contrary conduct today.
An early guilty plea would result in Johns missing three matches and, with the Knights having the bye in round 26, that would take his suspension into week one of the finals series. Johns' charge arises out of a 79th minute incident during Friday's 16-14 loss to Manly in which he is alleged to have sworn at touch judge Matt Cechin.
If he unsuccessfully defends the charge before the judiciary he will miss a fourth match.