The prominent Sea Eagles and Australian fullback was blocked under an NRL code of conduct ruling – in a decision that had the backing of the complete NRL board today when the National Rugby League met via teleconference.
The NRL have said however, their blocking of the player is ‘not’ because of Stewart being investigated by police. It’s believed the NRL are using a different ruling so to prevent legal action against them.
The meeting at NRL headquarters between powerbrokers and Manly heavyweights Scott Penn and Grant Mayer, also saw the club handed down a fine of $100,000.
Stewart has been set a court appearance date of April 7, which is after Round 4 of the NRL 2009 season, where he will defend charges of sexual assaultÂ alleged by a 17-year-old girl.