NRL braces for next day of bans
(AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)
Dylan Walker's NRL future will likely be decided on Friday as Todd Greenberg prepares to meter out the new discretionary powers handed to him by the ARL commission.
With Jack de Belin stood down until the sexual assault charge he has denied is finalised in the courts, the NRL might hand out further penalties on Friday for a range of integrity issues.
Under new rules announced on Thursday by the NRL, players who are charged by police but face less than 11 years' jail can still be banned by the NRL chief executive before their matter is legally completed.
Manly's Walker was charged with assaulting his partner in December, but he has pleaded not guilty to the matter and it will return to court in May.
North Queensland forward Scott Bolton might also face a punishment after he pleaded guilty to common assault in January for a grabbing a women's upper thigh last year.
"Tomorrow, I will be sitting in the same chair providing some clarity on a number of off-field integrity sanctions," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said on Thursday.
"The policy has just been made this morning so I wouldn't mind a few minutes just to regroup and consider that the first time I apply discretion under the policy I do it wisely and considered."
Wests Tigers recruit Zane Musgrove also faces a charge of indecently assaulting a 22-year-old women, to which both he and co-accused Penrith reserve grader Liam Coleman have pleaded not guilty.
Musgrove's contract has not yet been registered by the NRL, while Coleman falls outside the Panthers' top 30.
"Where such charges involve an offence of violence against women or children, and there will be a strong presumption that the CEO exercises discretion to impose a provisional stand down," ARL chairman Peter Beattie said as he announced the powers.
Players who are stood down while cases are before the courts will still receive full pay and be allowed to train with their clubs for welfare reasons.
Meanwhile, the fate of provisionally deregistered Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe, ex-Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan and the Sharks' salary-cap scandal might also be announced on Friday.
Several matters, including Dylan Napa's lewd video scandal, were still being discussed on Thursday afternoon as part of one of the busiest week's in the game's recent history.
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