You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Dragons lock Jack de Belin.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg is expected to give evidence on Tuesday in the Federal Court as Jack de Belin's legal challenge to the game's new "no fault stand-down" policy continues.

Player agent Steve Gillis and RLPA COO Tim Lythe took the stand as the case begun on Monday with de Belin's lawyer, Martin Einfeld QC comparing the NRL's policy with the ban imposed on former Australian cricket captain Kim Hughes for leading a rebel tour to South Africa.  

De Belin attended the opening day of the hearing, while former St George Illawarra team-mate Mark Gasnier was an interested observer in the Sydney court.

Greenberg, NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo and Melbourne Storm chairman Bart Campbell are set to testify on the need to implement the "no-fault stand down" policy on March 11.

Under the policy, de Belin remains on full pay and can train with the Dragons but the NSW Origin lock is unable to play while he defends a sexual assault charge.

Jack de Belin playing for NSW.
Jack de Belin playing for NSW. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

The policy applies to any player facing a criminal charge carrying a maximum penalty of 11 years or more in jail, while Greenberg has the discretion to impose a "no-fault stand down" of players on lesser charges.

Manly centre Dylan Walker and Penrith utility Tyrone May are also currently unable to play after Greenberg used his discretionary powers.

Einfeld told the court that the policy was "harsh", "unfair" and "draconian".

He said de Belin's case was similar to the Western Australian Cricket Association's decision to ban Hughes after he returned from the rebel South African tour and attempted to play club cricket in Perth.

Hughes won a court hearing against the WACA in 1988.

"It's unprecedented, as far as the evidence enables one to tell, in any sporting code in Australia," Einfeld said.

Gillis, who manages de Belin, told the court de Belin needed to be playing to maintain his market value when he comes off contract at the end of 2020 season.

"I would expect that the player would take a severe financial hit if the player is not allowed to ply his trade in the next 18 months," Gillis said. "He needs to be in the shop front window."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners