The NRL career of promising young forward Addin Fonua-Blake hangs in the balance after his contract was torn up by St George Illawarra.
The 19-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault in Waverley Local Court on April 15, after allegedly kicking his then-girlfriend in an Eastlakes home on January 18.
He was slapped with a 12-month suspended jail sentence and a fine of $1000.
Fonua-Blake opted to appeal the penalty and the matter is listed for mention in the District Court on July 13.
He was stood down by the Dragons immediately following the January 18 incident and has been removed from the playing group since.
A media release issued on Tuesday confirmed he had breached his contract and been sacked as a result.
Dragons chief Peter Doust said Fonua-Blake could have been playing in the NRL by now if not for the assault.
‘‘Addin has been at our club for a number of years and was a player our coaching group had targeted for NRL this season,’’ Doust said in a statement.
‘‘The decision followed a detailed investigation by the club and the NRL integrity unit as well as a hearing before the board of the St George Illawarra Dragons.
‘‘Addin’s actions breached clauses in his contract and upon review of all information by the board of the Dragons, the decision was made that termination of his contract was the appropriate outcome.’’
Fonua-Blake was being touted as one of the next big things in rugby league after a standout junior season in 2014.
He captained the Red V’s under 20 team to a preliminary final in the National Youth Competition, and his strong form was rewarded with a spot in the Junior Kiwis side.
He signed a senior contract with the Dragons to tie him to the club until the end of 2016, but those papers are now in the bin.
The Dragons won’t make any further comment on the case but it’s yet to be seen if the NRL will take any further action against Fonua-Blake.
The governing body has been criticised in the past for not acting strongly enough on domestic violence cases.
It’s the second time in two months the Dragons have been forced to sack a senior player.
Dane Nielsen was stood down and eventually terminated after allegedly biting a woman on the leg during a drunken night out at a Sydney nightclub in May.