Panthers wayward rookie Jarrod Sammut has been hooked and bannedÂ from participating inÂ a rugby union international after he illegally ignored his NRL agreement by playing in a Rugby Union Cup qualifier for Malta a week ago.
Panthers boss Mick Leary wasÂ amazed and furiatedÂ upon hearing the news; apparently Leary had agreed to release Sammut for the international games believing they were ‘Rugby League’ matches.
Sammut was a revelation for the Malta Rugby Union side putting on 11 points for his side but going downÂ 18-16Â to Croatia at Valletta and was named in the Maltese side to play Sweden in Vanersberg on Saturday.
“I received a letter from the Malta Rugby League on August 25 saying they wanted him to go over there for international commitments,” Leary told The Daily Telegraph.
“He was to do coaching clinics, promotions and public relations to promote rugby league.
“They also sought releases for internationals against Croatia last weekend and Sweden in Sweden on November 1.
“Now, since it was on a Malta Rugby League letterhead, how was I to know he was going to play rugby union?
“We have pulled him out of the game this Saturday.”
Leary originally told the MRLAÂ he could play in Sweden.
But NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley revealed it would be another breach of contract.