St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin will stand trial on sexual assault charges on the eve of the 2020 NRL season.
A brief hearing in Wollongong District Court on Tuesday set a date for the trial to commence on March 2, 2020, with an estimated duration of two weeks.
De Belin is pleading not guilty to four charges of aggravated sexual assault in company and one charge of aggravated sexual assault in company causing actual body harm.
Another man, Callan Sinclair, faces identical charges.
De Belin has not played this season after being stood down in March under the NRL’s new "no fault stand-down" rule.
The stand-down rule enables players charged with serious criminal offences to train with their clubs while remaining on full pay but they cannot play.
The Dragons are not intending to make a statement on the latest development as the club is awaiting the outcome of the trial.