12 Mar 2009

Players condemn NRL suspension of Stewart

7:45 am on 12 March 2009

The Rugby League Players' Association has condemned the NRL's move to stand down Manly star Brett Stewart from playing until round five.

Stewart's been charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old female at following a boozy club season launch.

The NRL announced Stewart was suspended from playing until round five - after his assault charge is heard in court.

Player's Association spokesman Matt Rodwell says Stewart shouldn't be stood down because he's been charged with a criminal offence particularly when he's indicated he'll defend the charge.

Rodwell says just like anyone else a player is entitled to the presumption of innocence.