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The NRL said today that the effect of the Game’s policy change on players facing serious criminal charges is that Dragons player Jack de Belin will be placed on a no-fault stand-down prior to the commencement of the NRL season.

NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg said the criminal charges against de Belin will fall within the parameters for the new no-fault stand-down.

He said de Belin will not be permitted to play in the NRL until his court case is finalised.

“I stress that the NRL is making no judgement on the guilt or innocence of the player,” Mr Greenberg said.

“That is not our role. That is the job of the courts – and it will remain so.

“But we have to be in a position to take action when allegations are so serious that it would damage the reputation of the game if that player was allowed to take the field.

“And that is what we have done in this case.”

Mr Greenberg said he expected to use the change in policy sparingly.

Where it is used, the game will continue to support players, their families and others requiring support, while cases are finalised in the courts.

“We have to take a leadership position to protect our game,” Mr Greenberg said.

“And that is what we will do with a change of policy in place."