ST GEORGE-Illawarra officials last night admitted Mark Gasnier's replacement as five-eighth is facing assault charges. Richie Williams, 20, will contest charges relating to a fight over the Christmas-New Year period at Narooma on the New South Wales South Coast when he faces court next month, Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said. He added the club was also contacted by police about a recent incident at Bondi involving Williams, but no charges were laid. The news comes after Dragons winger Wes Naiqama was sentenced to periodic detention for driving while unregistered and several other brushes with the law by NRL players in the pre-season. "I think there is a charge outstanding from around Christmas . . . New Year's Eve," Doust said. "His management is handling it in the main but as far as we're concerned he's denying the allegations and defending the allegations. "It's awaiting a hearing in court." Agent Sam Ayoub said Williams would face court at Narooma on April 12. Doust said: "With these matters that are subject to court hearings and allegations and so forth, the club has always taken the stance that the process should take its course. "Then we'll judge our position at the conclusion of the court matter." Of the more recent incident, Doust said: "I heard about a circumstance that was down at Bondi. "I had a ring from a police officer that he was involved in some sort of scuffle down there but no charge was arising from it." Ayoub said the news becoming public was "bad timing for the kid". "He's hoping to play five-eighth next Sunday, make his debut and we are trying to shield him from all this a little. "He's a good young kid with a great career ahead of him and obviously kids do things at times that get them in trouble. "He's denying the allegations and he's defending it. "We've got a legal team in place and we're working on it at the moment, until he appears in court. "What we want is to not have that as the focus at this stage. We want the kid to take the opportunities that are being presented to him with his football. "The solicitors have got it all in hand." NRL chief executive David Gallop said: "The Dragons have kept us advised. The allegations are in dispute and it is in the hands of the courts. That's all we can say on it."