Manly's Dylan Walker has been stood down from the NRL under the game's new no-fault policy on off-field behaviour.
Walker is contesting charges of assaulting his fiancee, to which he has pleaded not guilty, and is the second player to be stood down under the NRL's hardline disciplinary stance unveiled on Thursday.
St George Illawarra's Jack de Belin, who is fighting a charge of aggravated sexual assault, was stood down on Thursday.
Dylan Walker and Alexandra Ivkovic leave Manly Local Court hand in hand in December.Credit:AAP
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said of Walker: “The NRL stresses that we are making no judgement on his guilt or innocence. That is a matter for the courts.”
Greenberg added: “We cannot afford to ever have an off-season like this again. I would hope that the sanctions being handed down today will remind clubs and players that there are significant consequences for not complying with the standards and rules we set for our game.”
Manly released a statement on Friday about Walker's sanction.
“We accept this decision as part of the NRL’s drive to significantly uplift player behaviour and the overall image of the game on and off the field," Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman said.
“Equally Dylan’s welfare is paramount to us and we will continue to provide full support to him and his family.
“Naturally we are disappointed to lose Dylan from our playing squad. In discussions with the NRL earlier this morning, the club has been advised that a future application for salary cap relief as a result of this stand down will be looked upon favourably.
“Hopefully this matter will be finalised at the next scheduled hearing date on Friday, May 10. Our club will continue to remain fully focussed on delivering the strongest possible performance on and off the field for our Members, fans and corporate family for the 2019 season.”
Meanwhlie, the NRL fined Bulldogs recruit Dylan Napa 10 per cent of his salary over the sex tape scandal that also marred the off-season
"It was decided not to suspend him because this is an historical incident with the videos dating
back five years and due to the player’s incorrect assumption that the material would not reach a
broader audience," the NRL said.
Greenberg said any player involved in a lewd tape from now on could expect harsher penalties, including suspensions.
North Queensland's Scott Bolton was banned for 10 weeks and fined five per cent of his salary after pleading guilty in January to common assault involving a woman last year.
"However [the NRL] has agreed to halve the penalty if Bolton agrees to address the captains and senior players of all other teams during this year’s Magic Round in Brisbane in May," the NRL said.
Source: Read Full Article