George Burgess will be free to continue playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL, despite facing criminal charges.
The England international will face court next month after being charged by police for ‘sexually touching another person without consent’.
Burgess was named in the Dragons‘ extended squad to face Cronulla Sharks last week but didn’t make the match day 17.
But the NRL have confirmed the no-fault stand-down policy will not be used on Burgess. He will be allowed to continue playing whilst legal proceedings run their course.
An NRL statement read: “The National Rugby League (NRL) has advised the St George Illawarra Dragons that player George Burgess will be permitted to continue playing in the NRL Premiership while subject to criminal proceedings.
“So as not to prejudice Burgess’ criminal proceedings case, the NRL will wait the outcome of that case before taking any action for possible breaches of NRL rules.
“The decision in no way forms a judgement on the allegations against Burgess which are serious and the NRL reserves the right to impose a No Fault Stand Down in the future.”
In a response to the NRL, the Dragons released a statement saying: “The St George Illawarra Dragons acknowledge the NRL’s decision to not enforce the no-fault stand down policy on player George Burgess.
“Burgess will continue to train with the team and be considered for first grade selection.
“Out of the respect to the legal process now underway, the club will make no further comment until the matter is concluded.”
Burgess could return to action in this Sunday’s round four clash with Parramatta Eels.