No deal: De Belin refuses to stand down
JACK de Belin has refused the NRL's offer to stand down as the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) gets set to decide his fate on Thursday.
De Belin and Dragons officials on Wednesday met with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, who attempted to convince him to stand down of his own accord while he answers a rape charge.
It is understood de Belin declined the opportunity and the Dragons will instead wait for the outcome of Thursday's momentous meeting of the independent commission.
De Belin has pleaded not guilty to the aggravated sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in a Wollongong apartment.
Debate has raged about whether he should be sidelined after rugby league game copped a tidal wave of negative publicity over the off-season caused by a string of off-field scandals.
The ARLC will decide whether to change the game's policy so it can stand down players while they answer serious criminal charges - a move opposed by the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).
South Sydney forward Sam Burgess didn't want to buy into the debate going on at Rugby League Central, however, he said he was of the belief that player behaviour was better than at any time during his career.
"We all have a responsibility to grow the game," Burgess said at the Fox League launch on Wednesday."
There's been some terrible coverage in the press but player behaviour is probably as good as it's been over the years.
"It's just more reported on, things catch fire a lot quicker. For all the negative press, there's some fantastic role models and great players."
Many within the game have called for change, including Australian coach Mal Meninga who says a firm line in the sand needs to be drawn.
After joining the Gold Coast as the head of performance and culture, Meninga said he delivered a strong message to the Titans playing group.
"We want our players to be leaders, so there's an expectation there; society say they've got to be ambassadors, they've got to be role models," Meninga said.
"The club is black and white on this. There is an expectation around behaviour and accountability is one of our values.
"It's out of our DNA now; if you stuff up, we'll support you.
"But if it's serious enough, we've got to stand you down."