SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Dylan Walker of the Sea Eagles looks on prior to the NRL Trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Manly Sea Eagles at Shark Park on February 23, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Manly star Dylan Walker will be free to play in Round 1 despite being charged with two counts of common assault following an incident in November last year.

Walker allegedly assaulted two men outside a pizza shop in Sydney’s northern beaches and is set to face court in mid-May, with close to 20 witnesses set to be present at the hearing.

With the NRL deciding not to stand Walker down and his court dates not clashing with the 2021 season until Round 10, the 26-year-old has been given the all clear to play against the Roosters on March 13.

Manly chief executive Steve Humphries told The Sydney Morning Herald that Walker remains available for selection and will continue to train under coach Des Hasler.

“Dylan maintains his innocent and he plans to vigorously defend the charges,” Humphries said.

“That’s his plan and, in the meantime, he will continue to train in preparation for the 2021 season. He will also be available to be selected.”

Walker was arrested following the alleged altercation outside the Little Italy Pizza parlour and has pleaded not guilty to both counts of assault. He will face court from May 14-17.

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