Former Canterbury Bulldogs duo Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera are appealing their indefinite NRL ban, according to The Daily Telegraph.
After bringing two schoolgirls back to their hotel room during a pre-season trip to Port Macquarie, the pair had their contract ripped up last week for serious misconduct.
Okunbor lodged his paperwork with the NRL early on Wednesday with Harawira-Naera following suit later on in the day. The NRL has given no timeline about a possible return for the pair.
No date has been set for the hearing either. High Court judge Ian Callinan, the chair of the NRL Appeals committee, will reside over the hearing.
The Canterbury Bulldogs had been surprised by the moved made by Okunbor, 23, and Harawira-Naera, 24. The Bulldogs only learnt about the decision when it was revealed online by The Daily Telegraph.
The pair were accused of contacting the girls on social media and were given show cause notices before the NRL came down with the indefinite ban.
Their behaviour was seen as ‘inexcusable’ in a statement by NRL boss Todd Greenberg at the time.
“The behaviour of both players was inexcusable and a very serious breach of the code of conduct,” Greenberg said. “The game will not tolerate such conduct and as such both players have had their registrations cancelled.
“This decision should send a very clear message to all players of our stance on such behaviour.”
The Bulldogs agreed with the league’s decision to cancel the pair’s contracts immediately.
“Our club acted swiftly and was proactive in relation to the incidents in accordance with the expectations of our club and the NRL guidelines,” the Canterbury Bulldogs statement said.
Okunbor and Harawira-Naera’s actions led to the Bulldogs losing major sponsor Rashays.
It is understood that despite publicly declaring the restaurant would consider resuming sponsorship negotiations with the Bulldogs, they are yet to start.
A further blow as been dealt to the Bulldogs with Joe Stimson, Harawira-Naera’s replacement, facing a long stint on the sidelines. Stimson tore the front of his shoulder joint during the round two match against the Cowboys and needs surgery but due to the coronavirus the operation has been delayed. As a result, Stimson may be out for the rest of the season.