Dragons player Jack de Belin drops injunction bid against NRL

Jack De Belin at Dragons training on Monday. Picture: Robert Peet
Jack De Belin at Dragons training on Monday. Picture: Robert Peet

St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin has dropped his attempt for an immediate return to the NRL but will next month challenge the game's "no fault" stand down policy in the Federal Court.

De Belin was set to front court on Thursday for an interlocutory hearing in a bid to return to the field immediately.

However it was announced on Tuesday that it would not proceed.

His decision not to seek an injunction would come as welcome news to the NRL with the case threatening to overshadow Thursday's bumper season opener between Brisbane and Melbourne at AAMI Park.

Instead, he will have his case heard at a full hearing of the Federal Court from April 15 to 17.

In the meantime, De Belin will remain stood down and unavailable for the Dragons, including Saturday's season opener against North Queensland in Townsville.

De Belin is taking the game's governing body to court to challenge the newly-introduced "no fault" rule, which was rubber-stamped by ARL Commission on Monday.

Under the rule, the game can immediately stand down any player accused of a serious crime which carries a jail term of 11 years or more.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg also has the discretion to stand down any player who has been charged with a violent crime against women or children.

De Belin is being supported by the Rugby League Players Association, who argue the NRL cannot alter the terms of a players' employment conditions without the union's prior approval.

NSW backrower De Belin was stood down after he was charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in a Wollongong unit in December.

He has pleaded not guilty and the matter will return to Wollongong Local Court on April 17.

De Belin, Manly's Dylan Walker and Penrith's Tyrone May have all been stood down under the rule.