EXCLUSIVE: Peter Beattie explains Dylan Walker’s no-fault stand-down after not guilty verdict
NRL boss Todd Greenberg will have the final say on whether Dylan Walker can return in time for next week’s clash with Cronulla, after the Manly star was found not guilty of assault.
Walker was one of three players – along with Jack de Belin and Tyrone May – to be suspended indefinitely under the game’s no-fault stand-down rules.
Yesterday, the 24-year-old was cleared of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, with the NRL confirming his sanction has now expired.
But Manly will have to wait a little longer before preparing for Walker’s reintroduction into the side.
Speaking to Macquarie Sports Radio, ARL Commission chair Peter Beattie, a key architect of the no-fault stand-down rule, confirmed the league’s CEO Todd Greenberg will have the final say on Walker’s return to the field.
Despite the not guilty verdict, the NRL will review the court documents before giving him the go-ahead.
“The stand down rule that the Commission brought in no longer applies because that only applies until the matter is determined by the court”, Mr Beattie told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
“Naturally, Todd (Greenberg)’s team will have a look at what the court’s decision is and then Todd will have more to say about it”, he said.
Game bosses, including Peter Beattie and Todd Greenberg, are in Brisbane for this weekend’s Magic Round, which has delayed their response to Walker’s trial, which concluded in Sydney on Friday.
Mr Beattie defended the process as due diligence for working through the new law.
“(The NRL) need to look at what the transcript says. That’s just part of doing its job,” Mr Beattie said.
“Todd is the one delegated to deal with that. My Commission sets the rules. The rules have been applied here. Todd now is the person who hands out discipline… he’ll make a determination”.
Sea Eagles chief executive Lyall Gorman welcomed the court’s decision.
“The club has commenced discussions with the NRL Integrity Unit to have Dylan reinstated immediately,” Mr Gorman said in a statement.
The NRL’s controversial no-fault stand-down rule was enacted in response to a string of off-season dramas, as the game looked to take a tough stance on bad player behaviour.
It will once again be the subject of public scrutiny in the week ahead. Justice Melissa Perry is expected to deliver a verdict on Jack de Belin’s challenge of his stand-down in the Federal Court next week.
Click below to hear the full interview. Listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin – 5.00am – 7.00am Saturday and Sunday mornings