St George Illawarra Dragons CEO Brian Johnston and player Jack de Belin have made the following statements, in response to the NRL's decision to change the NRL policy and stand down Jack de Belin.
Brian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer
"We understand and support the Commission’s desire to improve the standards of player behaviour and propagate the game,” said Dragons CEO Brian Johnston.
"This is a very complex and difficult issue that impacts many stakeholders.
"To date we have been guided by the NRL rules and code of conduct, in addition to advice suggesting any action taken by the club could interfere with the judicial process.
"Given the change today, we need time to digest this information and consider the implications for our club.
"Duty of care has always been a priority for us and we have great concern for Jack’s welfare. We will continue to provide him with the necessary support and welfare he needs throughout this legal process.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders, including sponsors, members and fans for their support of our process."
Jack de Belin, Player
"Rugby league has always been a big part of my life, I love the game.
"I am innocent and will vigorously defend the charge against me.
"I want to thank my partner, family, friends, the club, members, sponsors and fans for the support they have given me during this difficult time."