The Sea Eagles could still play Dylan Walker in Saturday’s trial game against the Sharks. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
The Sea Eagles could still play Dylan Walker in Saturday’s trial game against the Sharks. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Sea Eagles tight-lipped over plans to play Walker

MANLY officials are remaining tight-lipped about whether Dylan Walker will play in Saturday night's NRL trial against Cronulla, just days before he appears in court on domestic violence charges.

The former NSW State of Origin centre is due to face a hearing before a magistrate in Manly Local Court on Tuesday, after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault against his partner last December.

Manly were on Friday afternoon the only club not to have named their squad for this weekend's trials, with no stipulation required to do so for preseason matches under the NRL's rules.

When contacted by AAP, Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman would not say if Walker would play in the Shark Park match.

The 24-year-old has not been stood down by either Manly or the NRL since being charged. He was given time off following his arrest but has since returned to training.

It follows another dramatic week of debate over off-field matters in the NRL.

Jack de Belin - who has pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge - wasn't picked for St George Illawarra's trial against Newcastle due to a chest infection.

Penrith reserve grader Liam Coleman - who has denied an indecent assault charge - will play in the Panthers' trial against South Sydney.

Dragons player Jack de Belin has been ruled out of the Dragons’ trial with a chest complaint. Picture:  Dean Lewins/AAP
Dragons player Jack de Belin has been ruled out of the Dragons’ trial with a chest complaint. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

Dylan Napa will also play for Canterbury against Canberra, but his matter is largely different in that his leaked lewd videos are the subject of only an NRL investigation.

Young forward Payne Haas was also pulled from Brisbane's trial against Wynnum Manly and suspended for four matches after he failed to co-operate fully with the NRL's integrity unit.

It all comes as the ARL commission considers changes to its policy on player behaviour at a meeting next Thursday.

Chairman Peter Beattie revealed this week he was seeking legal advice and looking at other sports for guidance on whether players charged with serious offences could be stood down while matters were still before the courts.

But any decision to do so could be met with a strong rebuke by the Rugby League Players Association, which has warned the NRL not to play the role of "judge, jury and executioner" before a criminal case is completed.

News Corp Australia

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