CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Jack Wighton of the Raiders in action during the round 12 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Manly Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium on May 25, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The NRL is yet to reach a verdict on the length of Raiders fullback Jack Wighton’s club-imposed ban after Canberra handed down a six-week suspension to the troubled star.

The Raiders board recommended that Wighton should miss six games for pleading to guilty to five charges of assault and one of public urination, including the two he has already missed.

The NRL met on Monday night to discuss the appropriate suspension Wighton should face, and the delay in their announcement has created the feeling they believe the tabled six-week ban was not a harsh enough penalty for his indiscretions.

The NRL have previously come down hard on players for disgraceful off-field behaviour. Eels forward Kenny Edwards was released from the league earlier this year for driving with a suspended license.

In 2016, Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce copped an eight-game ban and $125,000 fine for his controversial Australia Day antics while a member of the Roosters.

Broncos prop Matthew Lodge was sacked by the Wests Tigers for his drunken New York offences in 2015, only re-entering the league this season.

The Raiders have been known to whack players for acting up, previously letting go of Todd Carney, Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson, but are treating Wighton’s breach as his first.

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In other news, Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin is excited to begin his career for the English Super League’s Warrington Wolves.

“I’m going over to play good footy and hopefully bring some success to Warrington,” he told The Canberra Times.

“I think if I went over there with any other mindset I might struggle and miss home too much so it’s going to be important to play good footy there and be contributing to Warrington.

“My career was hovering for a while before I came here [to Canberra]. I think it’s been a good mutual relationship.

“I think I’ve brought plenty to the club and on the flipside the club’s certainly done plenty for me.”


  1. 12-14 weeks would be sufficient. Do the crime do the time. The club imposed ban of 6 weeks is pathetic and shows the club condones his actions.

    • Carney also had multiple DUI’s and driving without a licence, plus pissing on someone and setting their leg on fire.

  2. While i think 6 weeks isnt enough i can understand Canberra holding onto him when you look whats happen with others they let go.Canberra sacks them for other clubs to offer life lines and the players end up playing for Australia.Not saying he will play for Aus but if Canberra release him who really gets punished?

    • Exactly right ParraMatt, the NRL did not support the raiders when they did the right thing with Carney, Dugan and Ferguson, they were allowed to go on and bolster other clubs!

      • Agreed, and it can run much deeper / can be used or abused both ways.
        If he was an underperforming and/or over paid player this would be the catalyst to terminate his contract (a get out of jail free for the club). Without singling out any club as such but if that was Cartwright, as probably the best current example, do you reckon the Titans would give him 6 weeks or terminate the contract?
        Conversely if the club lacks depth in that position, and the player is a key player, it can be a bigger penalty to the club than the player, yet an individuals actions are (to a very large degree at least) outside of a club’s control.

  3. Yep…..6 weeks long enough? one knows and we can all argue to the cows come home.
    If only the NRL showed consistency and someone in the admin getting paid big bucks could actually do some proactive work to determine a fine / ban structure for dealing with guilty crimes or just putting the game in to disrepute etc etc and less reactive and punishing based on when the social, screen or paper media decides to make a big deal frenzy or not. They were able to develop a conveluted over analysed judiciary points and grading system so why not take it out of the clubs hands and develop a more simplistic suspension time / ban for misdeameanors.
    But it just shows Pearce was harshly done by with us suspension and fine when you compare the 2 wrongs.

  4. This just shows how short of good fullbacks Canberra must be, or how highly they rate him?
    The footage of the offences committed looks so terrible, that Canberra had its release blocked in court. Given they think what he did & how it looks is disgraceful , how can a 6 week only suspension be appropriate ?
    A precedent has now been set at the club. If they get a top line player there now, I guess he could assault 10 people with pick handle . Then piss on them or whatever? That would be worth what? A 10 to 12 week suspension ?

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