Manly's Manase Fainu has been stood down by the NRL after he was denied bail and charged with allegedly stabbing a man at a church dance.
The Sea Eagles hooker has denied involvement in the stabbing last Friday in Wattle Grove, but Fainu will remain in custody until his next court appearance in December.
The 21-year-old was hit with three charges: of wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, affray, and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company, police alleging that "he produced a knife and stabbed another man".
Given the severity of charges against him, the NRL's has enacted its no-fault stand-down rule automatically applies to against Fainu until his case is finalised.
Any offence that carries more than 11 years or more jail time as a maximum penalty charge requires allows for players to be automatically stood down under NRL rule policy.
The charge of wounding with intent to or causeing grievous bodily harm with intent carries a maximum sentence of 25 years under NSW law.
NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg reiterated that the stand-down rule's application makes no presumption of guilt or innocence, but was brought in to protect "the reputation of the game and its stakeholders".
"The no-fault stand down rule provides for the automatic stand down of players on a no-fault basis where they are charged with a serious criminal offence," Greenberg said.
"Given the charges, Manase Fainu is automatically subject to the no-fault stand down rule, which will remain in place until the outcome of the court proceedings."
Should Fainu receive bail he will be permitted to train alongside his Manly teammates, but not play again at Nines or in the NRL Premiership level until the matter is resolved.
"The club accepts and endorses this decision and will continue to support the well-being of Manase and his family," the Sea Eagles said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fainu had handed himself in at Liverpool Police Station on Tuesday morning alongside his lawyer Elias Tabchouri and agent Mario Tartak, before appearing at Liverpool Local Court in the afternoon.
Police allege that a 24-year-old man was treated for stab wounds at 11.30pm on Friday night following a brawl at a Mormon church function.
The man was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition, police alleging that he suffered a punctured lung in the attack.
Speaking to reporters outside court, Mr Tabchouri said Fainu will "continue fighting these charges because clearly he's not guilty".
"We respect the decision of the court although we don't necessarily agree with it, but that's fine. We will pursue the avenues available to us to secure his liberty," Tabchouri said.
"We're very confident our client is innocent of this. There's no two ways about it. We'll defend these matters all the way.
"He's obviously very dejected at the moment but again, there are avenues available that we will take and we have to move forward with that.
"He's obviously upset but we'll move forward. He comes from a good family and he'll be fine."
Fainu's post-season shoulder surgery had ruled him out of representing Tonga following a breakout year for the Sea Eagles.
He is rated one of the game's most promising young hookers, with his rise as Manly's first-choice rake seeing the club release Api Koroisau to Penrith in 2020.