St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges and will be free to continue training as his side prepares for the upcoming NRL season.
De Belin, 27, is accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in the company of his friend Callan Sinclair in a Wollongong unit on December 9.
The New South Wales State of Origin representative appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday and entered his plea. The case was then adjourned to April 17.
Nine News reported when the case returns to the courts, police will at one point allege de Belin told Sinclair "come on, have a go" as the alleged victim lay crying on the bed.
De Belin will be free to train with the Dragons with conditions of his bail altered to allow him to do so.
AAP reports Magistrate Roger Clisdell added an additional condition that de Belin does not enter any international point of departure aside from travelling on an airport train line, and the star lock had surrendered his passport.
Clisdell said there appeared to be a reasonably strong case against de Belin, but agreed to alter his bail conditions because he was a high-level sportsperson with obligations and was unlikely to flee, AAP reported.
The sexual assault offence carries a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.
While the NRL has said it would crack down on off-field behaviour following a number of incidents, a spokesman told AAP it wouldn't change its policy to stand de Belin down until the case was decided.