South Sydney Rabbitohs drop George Burgess for smashing car window
Australian rugby league was hit with a second off-field scandal in as many days yesterday as Rabbitohs forward George Burgess was suspended after being charged with wilful damage of property.
The table-topping South Sydney Rabbitohs said the Englishman had admitted his guilt in the incident, in the early hours of Monday after a game.
The club said he had been fined A$10,000 (HK$75,000) and suspended for two matches, and will also pay for the cost of the damage, undergo an anger-management programme and do 50 hours of community work.
"George accepts he's done the wrong thing and that there has to be a price," club chief executive Shane Richardson said. "For someone on his contract level, it is a big price to pay, and he still has to deal with the issue in court.
"We will support him because he has faced up to what he has done and because this isn't reflective of his general behaviour at the club," Richardson added.
Queensland police said they charged a 21-year-old man after a sign was rammed through the window of a car. Burgess is due to appear before Cairns Magistrates Court on July 10.
Police on Monday charged Canberra star winger Blake Ferguson with indecent assault after an incident at a bar, and he was then suspended by the National Rugby League. The 23-year-old was charged following an alleged incident involving a woman in Sydney on Sunday.
The NRL said it had suspended his registration for repeated behavioural issues involving alcohol, and he is now out of this month's second State of Origin match against Queensland.
Last week, New South Wales prop James Tamou was charged with drink-driving.
"The fans do not want to see the game tarnished, and neither do the players," NRL chief executive Dave Smith said. "It's time for people to understand that the game isn't going to accept this sort of behaviour."
New South Wales lead the three-match State of Origin series after winning the opening game 14-6 against Queensland. The second match will be played in Brisbane next Wednesday.