Kiwis international Corey Harawira-Naera and Bulldogs teammate Jayden Okunbor have dramatically had their deregistrations overturned on appeal.

The two stars are now eligible to play in the NRL this season after the NRL Appeals Committee reduced the penalties handed down for the Port Macquarie school sex scandal.

Okunbor received an indefinite ban from the game after he was found to have acted inappropriately during the team's visit to the town.

Harawira-Naera's deregistration was also reported to effectively constitute a two-year ban after he was found to have breached the NRL's code of conduct.


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But those severe punishments were wiped away on Monday.

The NRL has instead announced Okunbor's penalty has been slashed to a 14-game ban and a $22,500 fine.

Harawira-Naera's suspension has also been reduced to a 10-game ban and a $15,000 fine.

An NRL investigation into the Port Macquarie school sex scandal found Okunbor and Harawira-Naera allegedly took teenage schoolgirls back to the team hotel for sex.

Screenshots also emerged of Okunbor allegedly requesting topless images from one of the teenage girls.

The 23-year-old is now cleared to make his return in the NRL from Round 15.

Harawira-Naera is eligible to play for the Bulldogs in their Round 11 clash with Newcastle - less than two weeks away.


The Bulldogs announced in April both players' contracts had been terminated with immediate effect.

However, the club released a statement on Monday indicating the club would consider its contractual position, with reports the club would be open to having Harawira-Naera return as soon as he has completed his 14-days of self isolation before entering the club's biosecurity bubble.

Channel 9 journalist Danny Weidler reported the pair have both been reinstated as contracted players.

"The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have this afternoon been advised by the NRL of the appeal process result for Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor," the Canterbury statement claimed.

"We are now working with the NRL to determine how this process will be implemented and will await further advice from the NRL on the next stage.

"We will release a further update when we have more information."


Acting NRL boss Andrew Abdo also released a statement to announce the game is "disappointed" with the committee's decision to reduce the punishments handed out.

"The NRL took the action which it considered necessary given the serious breaches of the Code of Conduct – breaches the Appeals Committee also found to be serious," Abdo said.

"The independent appeals committee has taken a different view on what penalty the players should face and although we are disappointed, we respect the outcome."

Okunbor and Harawira-Naera announced in April they would challenge their deregistrations through the appeals avenue.

Former NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said at the time the players' behaviour was "inexcusable".

"The behaviour of both players was inexcusable and a very serious breach of the code of conduct,'' NRL boss Todd Greenberg said last week.


"The game will not tolerate such conduct and as such both players have had their registrations cancelled."