In a sign that the NRL are serious about player behaviour, Newcastle Knight’s application to register ex-New Zealand Warrior Russell Packer has been declined and forced his new club to stand down the prop forward.
It comes as a result of the twenty-five year old being charged by New South Wales police with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failure to leave a licensed premises located at Sydney’s Martin Place last weekend.
“We will always respect the court process and, if the only facts in question are those before the court, then clearly we will ordinarily wait for them to be resolved,” NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle said in a statement on Friday.
“We have also been clear that we will always act on any information that demonstrates behaviour which is contrary to the interests, welfare and image of the NRL.
“While we make no inference in relation to the charges that Russell is facing, our Integrity Unit has reported conduct that leaves us with little choice other than to refuse the application for registration.”
2013 has been a dramatic year for Packer. He was involved in a most embarrassing incident where the urinated on Suncorp Stadium prior to kick-off in the Warriors clash with the Brisbane Broncos. This led to the Warriors being fined $15,000 following the game.
Packer represented New Zealand twice in 2011 and appeared for the Warriors in 110 games between 2008 and 2013.