Manly Sea Eagles utility Dylan Walker faces deregistration from the NRL if he is found guilty of assaulting his partner.
Walker was stood down in the same fashion as Jack de Belin in the NRL’s new “no-fault stand down policy” by CEO Todd Greenberg and would be unlikely to return to the competition if found guilty, following the precedent set in the recent case involving Ben Barba.
Walker, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is out of his contract at the end of the year which is worth around $600,000 a year.
Walker’s assault case was adjourned on Tuesday in Manly Local Court, after a five-hour hearing, until May 10.
“The NRL stresses that we are making no judgement on his guilt or innocence. That is a matter for the courts,” Greenberg said on Friday.
But it now means Walker cannot play until his court case finishes.
The Sea Eagles said they accepted the decision for Walker to not play until his assault charge is resolved in the courts.
“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,” Sea Eagles CEO 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 focused on delivering the strongest possible performance on and off the field for our members, fans and corporate family for the 2019 season.”