Jack de Belin won't be able to play in the NRL again this year after the Federal Court upheld a ban preventing him from playing while facing a serious criminal charge.
© AAPDecision: Jack de Belin.
The Dragons forward was stood down after the NRL announced less than a fortnight before the start of the season it would enact a new rule for players facing serious criminal charges.
De Belin, 28, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault stemming from an incident in Wollongong in December. He has pleaded not guilty.
He funded a legal challenge against the validity of the rule, which resulted in a four-day hearing last month in front of Justice Melissa Perry.
The NRL's no-fault stand-down rule has meant de Belin has missed the first nine games of the season for St George Illawarra. They have slumped to three straight losses before facing the Knights in Mudgee on Sunday.
De Belin's teammates flew to the central west on Friday.
Manly's Dylan Walker and Penrith's Tyrone May were also stood down under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy having been charged with criminal offences.
The NRL lifted its ban on Walker after he was acquitted of a domestic violence charge in court last week. The former Australian representative will make his return against the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday.
More to come