The rugby league world is reeling after shocking footage emerged of former Parramatta star Chris Sandow brawling on the street in front of children, allegedly throwing wild haymakers and even headbutting a shirtless, barefoot opponent.

Taken on New Year's Day in Sandow's rural hometown of Cherbourg, 250km northwest of Brisbane, the 30-second clip includes a frenzied passage where both fighters throw flurries of mistimed blows at close range.

One man is heard urging the pair to "keep on going", as several children join the large crowd watching the melee.

Sandow has since been charged over the fight, in which the 27-year-old former NRL Rookie of the Year appears to be wearing a black-and-gold singlet.

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The footage shows the former Eels and Rabbitohs halfback appearing to throw several wild haymakers at his rival before the pair grapple with each other. During another passage of the fight, Sandow allegedly headbutts the man squarely in the face.

Sandow eventually ends the scrap by felling his foe with a brutal right before helping the man back up.

The fight is believed to have been one of many sparked by several incidents the previous night in the troubled Aboriginal community, which has had alcohol restrictions in place since 2009.

Queensland Police confirmed a 27-year-old man has been charged with public nuisance over an altercation and others were expected to be charged. Sandow is due in court on January 10.

His brush with the law will almost certainly end any slim hope of an NRL return since walking out on his contract with English Super League club Warrington.

It had been reported Sandow was in talks with several clubs but an NRL spokesman said any moves to register Sandow could be hampered by the alleged brawling.

"He's not part of the NRL, so we have no reason to look into it," he said.

"But any player seeking to be registered needs to prove they are fit and proper to be part of the NRL. Having said that, there is no application to register him."