St George Illawarra Dragons and New South Wales State of Origin second rower Jack de Belin is set to formally challenge his ban from playing in the NRL.
De Belin was issued with a no-fault stand-down last week under a new policy introduced by the ARLC and NRL, however Channel Nine are reporting the lock forward will be in federal court tomorrow seeking to have the ban removed, and that he will seek an injunction against the NRL.
The case will be heard at 2pm (AEDT).
The St George Illawarra forward has been charged with aggravated sexual assault following an alleged incident in December of last year. De Belin has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and has repeatedly stated he is innocent.
It’s unclear at this stage whether the Dragons are supporting de Belin in his move to have his current ban overturned.
If the ban is lifted, he will be free to play with St George Illawarra when they start their NRL season on Saturday, March 16 against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
After an off-season from hell, the NRL announced new measures last week to stand down players charged with serious criminal offences – those carrying a maximum prison sentence of more than 11 years or which involve alleged violence against women or children.
While being stood down from actual games, players facing this NRL-introduced sanction would still be paid their full salary and be free to train with the squad during the week.
For those facing prison sentences of under 11 years, the decision would be left up to the discretion of the NRL’s CEO to decide whether the case was worthy of the player being stood down. Manly’s Dylan Walker, who has pleaded not guilty to an assault charge, was last week stood down under this provision.
MORE TO COME