Canberra Raiders and New South Wales winger Blake Ferguson is pleading not guilty in response to charges of indecent assault, reports ABC News.
Ferguson was accused of assaulting a young woman in a Cronulla nightclub while out drinking with fellow well behaved footballer Josh Dugan.
Ferguson has been suspended by the NRL for multiple problems, mostly related to drinking, but the club will await the results of the trial before deciding his fate.
At the time of his arrest, NRL chief executive Dave Smith said Ferguson’s suspension sent a “strong message” that the player’s behaviour was not acceptable.
“I think clearly the fact of the matter is, we don’t want to see that type of behaviour,” he told Grandstand.
“We’ve suspended Blake on the basis he’s had a number of alcohol issues.
“Whilst I’ve got regard for his welfare, quite frankly we don’t want to see this type of behaviour, the fans don’t want to see it, the vast majority of players don’t want to see it.”
UPDATE: The Raiders have issued a terse statement:
Canberra Raiders player Blake Ferguson has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault at a court hearing in Sydney today.
The matter has been adjourned until September 3.
The Raiders will now await the decision from the NRL on when Blake can return to training fulltime and playing with the NRL team.
Until this time the club has no further comment.