The NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy will remain in 2021.
It is a significant victory for ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys, chief executive Andrew Abdo and commissioner Peter Beattie, who have all been strong advocates of the rule.
It is believed that the arbiter reached his decision on Monday morning in what was a nervous wait for the NRL and RLPA after being informed documentation went through over the weekend.
The decision is believed to have been a costly one for the RLPA and could be north of six figures in legal expenses.
The NRL introduced the no-fault stand-down policy in March 2019 – suspending players who are faced with serious criminal charges with a maximum jail term of 11 years or more.
De Belin was stood down under the no-fault stand down policy in February 2019 over an alleged sexual assault charges. He faces charges of five counts of rape.
The 29-year old challenged the NRL’s no-fault stand-down rule at federal court and even to the Rugby League Players Association, to no avail.
De Belin currently awaits the verdict for his rape re-trial in April.
If found not guilty, De Belin could return as early as round nine, however, it is more likely he will be eased back into action through the reserve grades.
The is reportedly NRL is reportedly preparing to sit down with RLPA to discuss further sanctions for player misbehaviour to protect the game’s finances and credibility.
The governing body is believed to be so concerned about the NRL’s image and financial ramifications of player misdemeanours that they want to ramp up sanctions in a bid to avoid future mishaps.