The NRL has handed down a heavier sanction to Canberra fullback Jack Wighton, with the League issuing a 10-week ban coupled with a $30,000 fine.
The Raiders originally handed Wighton a six-week ban, but following NRL CEO Todd Greenberg’s recommendations, the League decided to extend his punishment.
Wighton will now be ineligible to play until round 25.
Back in February, Wighton was involved in multiple incidents in Canberra, and recently pleaded guilty to five counts of assault and one count of public urination.
The Canberra Raiders were not too pleased with the additional sanction, and released the following statement.
“After reviewing all of the facts surrounding this incident we firmly stand by our decision and the punishment handed down by the Club,” Raiders Chairman Dr Allan Hawke AC said.
“We’re disappointed to learn the NRL does not agree with this punishment and feel they have to come over the top and add a further four weeks and a monetary fine to the penalty.
“This penalty is excessive, as Jack still has to face further penalties imposed by the ACT Magistrate and Galambany Courts. We are perplexed as to why the NRL felt the need to impose further punishment before this process was concluded and it sets an extraordinary precedent to the way matters are handled by Clubs in the future.
“In light of this, it appears Clubs don’t really have a role in imposing penalties on their own employees, so perhaps it’s time for the NRL and its Integrity Unit to decide these matters, so that there will be a consistent approach for future offences.”
“We will continue to support Jack in his rehabilitation,” Dr Hawke concluded.