Sea Eagles to pick Fainu despite police charge
Manly will name rookie hooker Manase Fainu for Saturday's clash against Melbourne with NRL approval after the youngster was recently charged with intentionally recording an intimate image without consent and posting it to social media.
Fainu, 19, fronted court in May having allegedly engaged in consensual sex with a woman which was recorded without her knowledge, with the Sea Eagles rake requesting the matter be dealt with under the mental health act.
He is next due to appear in Fairfield Local Court in early August, with the NRL Integrity Unit aware of the matter before he made his debut against Penrith in round 16. Fainu was granted bail and did not enter a plea.
Sea Eagles officials confirmed with NRL.com that Fainu will be named in their 21-man squad for the showdown with Melbourne.
An NRL spokesman reiterated head office's preference for the legal system to take its course before determining its stance on a player's availability.
"Our policy is to allow the matter to take its course through the criminal justice system," the spokesman said.
"We would then consider whether any action is needed when the matter is finalised in the courts or if a guilty plea is made."
Trent Barrett will also name backline pair Dylan Walker (patella) and Matt Wright (shoulder) on Tuesday for the Storm game at Lottoland.
Manly's injury-ravaged playing stocks leaves them with little options to fill a 21-man team list, however, the club is hopeful both Walker and Wright will be fit by the weekend.
Walker will be named in the No.6 jersey ahead of a potential re-match with Melbourne centre Curtis Scott, who fractured his eye socket with a punch when they last clashed in round 11.
The former NSW utility was out for six weeks as a result of the blow, and lasted only 47 minutes of his comeback against Penrith before being carried from the field with a partially dislocated kneecap.