The NRL’s new no-fault stand-down policy will face its first big test today, with St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin to take the Australian Rugby League Commission to Federal Court.
De Belin is one of three players who have been banned from playing under the new rules, which allows the NRL to stand down players charged with crimes attracting sentenced of less than 11 years.
The Dragons star has pleaded not guilty to raping a 19-year-old woman in company with his friend in a Wollongong unit on December 9.
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Today, lawyers for de Belin will face off with those from the NRL and rugby league’s governing body over his suspension from the game.
According to court documents, De Belin’s legal team are challenging the process, arguing they do not have the power to suspend him and it was “misleading or deceptive” to claim they’re able to do so.
They will also argue some of comments made by ARLC Chair Peter Beattie former a view de Belin was guilty and they have cause “irreparable damage”, along with financial loss.
Beattie has stressed the no-fault policy didn’t imply guilt but was needed to fix the code’s broken culture.