South Sydney’s Cody Walker has been suspended for two matches after he was filmed kicking a man in the chest in a street fight last December, and the Rabbitohs have been fined $20,000 for failing to report the incident to the league.
- Cody Walker will miss the Rabbitohs’ two matches against the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm
- Walker was also handed a suspended $15,000 fine
- The Rabbitohs have five days to respond to the $20,000 breach notice for failing to inform the NRL about the incident
Walker will miss the first two matches of the restarted NRL season after the footage appeared on social media earlier this week.
The New South Wales State of Origin representative has also been served with a suspended $15,000 fine.
He has five business days to respond but has already indicated he will not appeal any punishment handed down by the NRL’s integrity unit.
The Rabbitohs also have five days to respond to the $20,000 breach notice they received for not promptly disclosing the incident to the integrity unit.
Walker was not charged by NSW Police for his role in the incident in Casino in December, which was not reported to authorities at the time.
He had told his coach Wayne Bennett, who did not pass on the information.
The NRL only became aware of the incident this week after Walker made a report to police over an alleged blackmail attempt for $20,000.
“All clubs and club officials have a duty to report any incident which may lead to a breach of NRL rules, including suspected breaches, and NRL Clubs are responsible for ensuring compliance,” the NRL said in a statement.
It is claimed there were threats to sell the video to media before it was then released online.
The Rabbitohs will be without Walker to restart their season against arch rivals Sydney Roosters next Friday night, as well as a trip to Melbourne to face the Storm in round four.
It opens the door for rookie Troy Dargan to make his NRL debut in the halves alongside Adam Reynolds.
Meanwhile, the NRL also upheld the sanctions given to Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Tyrone Roberts-David for breaching social distancing laws in New South Wales last month.