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Newcastle Knights recruit Russell Packer is appealing a two year jail sentence handed down today.

The 24-year-old former Warrior pleaded guilty to an assault charge in Downing Centre Local Court earlier today, and was sentenced to two years jail and refused bail.

His legal representation lodged an appeal, which will be heard on February 11, according to a statement from the Newcastle Knights.

On December 6 the NRL said it would not be registering Packer's contract following the revelation of the charges, stemming from a night out in November, due to "various behavioural issues" concerning the player. 

The Knights said Packer was stood down from all club duties at that time. The club said it will make no further comment until the court process is concluded.

NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle said that as Packer is not currently a registered NRL player it would not be appropriate for the NRL to make further comment on the matter.