NRL boss Todd Greenberg is keen to make a decision before February 14 on whether Maika Sivo and Josh Reynolds will be stood down ahead of the NRL Nines, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Wests Tigers are awaiting a decision from the league on Reynolds to determine if the club will have the funds in the salary cap to sign a new hooker. Moses Mbye is currently training in the position, but no decision will be made until Reynolds’ fate has been decided.
Sivo and Reynolds returned to training in the new year unsure of whether they would even be able to play in round one with looming court cases after both were facing serious charges.
With such a big decision for the league, the NRL have made it clear that they would like the issues resolved before the new season arrives.
Per the league’s policy, players charged with an offence that have a maximum jail sentence of 11 years or more are required to be stood down until the case is resolved in court, with Greenberg also having the power to stand down players who have lesser charges depending on the incident.
Reynolds will return to court on July 23 after pleading not guilty to a domestic violence charge where Reynolds allegedly assaulted his ex-partner leading to bruises on her right arm and left leg.
Eels winger Sivo will return to court on February 17 (he has been excused from attending) after being charged with indecent assault after he reportedly touched the skirt of a waitress in Fiji on Boxing Day.
Both Sivo and Reynolds’ alleged offences are less than 11 years in jail, but with both cases involving women, being stood down by Greenberg seems a likely decision.
In 2019, Greenberg stood down Manly centre Dylan Walker and Panthers player Tyrone May because of their charges despite both players facing charges of carried sentences less than 11 years.
May pleaded guilty to recording four sex tapes without the women’s consent in them, while Walker faced allegations of domestic violence.
The NRL Nines pre-season tournament will be held in Perth on the 14th and 15th of February, and the league will tell Sivo and Reynolds of their fates before then and if both will be available for round one.
Over the next month, the Rugby League’s players union will be in constant communication with the league in regards to the clarity of the stand down rule in the hopes of being able to understand the guidelines and fully comprehend the circumstances where players will ultimately be affected by the stand down policy.