Further setbacks have hit the district court trial of sidelined St George Illawarra Dragons star Jack de Belin after it was revealed a significant witness in the pre-trial argument has fallen ill.
The witness, whose name has been suppressed at the direction of the court, had been due to give evidence in court on Wednesday.
However, Judge Andrew Haesler said the witness was unavailable due to illness, causing further delay in the case.
It is unclear if the witness will be available to give evidence on Thursday.
De Belin and his co-accused, Shellharbour Sharks player Callan Sinclair, stand accused of sexually assaulting a young woman inside a North Wollongong unit block during a night out in December 2018.
They have each pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault in company and one count of aggravated sexual assault in company inflicting actual bodily harm.
Their joint jury trial had been due to start last Monday however lawyers for both men raised significant legal complications in the case they said needed to be resolved before a trial could begin.
The court has been closed to the public and the media for much of the legal argument and details of what has been discussed in open court so far cannot be published for significant legal reasons.
The issue surrounding the availability of the witness will be revisited on Thursday.
De Belin and Sinclair, who have been in court for each day of the proceedings, remain on conditional bail.