St George Illawarra Dragons youngster Tristan Sailor will spend Saturday night behind bars after he was refused police bail over allegations he violently raped a young woman.
The 22-year-old was arrested at his parents' home in Wollongong on Saturday morning before he was charged with aggravated sexual assault - inflict actual bodily harm on victim.
Sailor, who is the son of rugby league icon Wendall Sailor, is due to face Wollongong Local Court on Sunday, at which time he would have spent more than 24 hours in custody.
St George detectives and the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced an investigation under Strike Force Rouget after a woman reported being raped by a man known to her on October 3.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed a search warrant at Sailor's home about 7.40am on Saturday, and police seized a number of items relevant to the investigation.
St George Illawarra released a statement on Saturday afternoon.
The NRL integrity unit has been notified and the club intends to work with Sailor and authorities in the coming weeks.
"St George Illawarra have today been advised that Tristan Sailor has been charged with sexual assault following an alleged incident last weekend," the statement said.
"The club is taking the matter very seriously and will continue to work with Tristan and all relevant authorities. The NRL integrity unit has also been made aware.
"While Tristan won't be at the Dragons in 2021, the club will continue to provide any necessary welfare support as he comes to terms with the matter.
"As this is a police matter to be considered by the court, the club will make no further comment at this time."
The NRL confirmed Sailor will be stood down under the league's no-fault stand down policy as a result of the serious nature of the charges.
"The game has the strongest stance in Australian sport on these matters," CEO Andrew Abdo said.
"The No-Fault Stand Down Rule ensures the automatic stand down of a player on a no-fault basis when they are charged with a serious criminal offence.
"The player is not contracted to play in the NRL next season and will not be permitted to play while he remains subject to serious criminal charges."
The five-eighth is the second Dragons player to face sexual assault allegations, with Jack de Belin preparing to face trial in November on aggravated sexual assault charges.
The representative forward has spent the past two seasons on the sidelines as a result of the NRL's policy.
The son of former superstar Wendell Sailor and tipped by many to follow in his father's footsteps, Tristan made his debut for the Dragons in round 23 in 2019.
A one-year contract extension came prior to the 2020 season, however he featured in just two games this year. He has played in five NRL matches in his career.
Sailor is officially contracted with the Dragons until October 31.
Sailor was one of three players told prior to the club's final match that he would not be receiving a new contract.
The decision drew an angry reaction from Wendell, who expressed his disappointment at the way Tristan had been treated by St George Illawarra
Sailor had been in discussions with a number of other clubs in recent weeks. He remains without a contract for the 2021 season.
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