Young Dragons star Talatau Amone has cleared another hurdle on his path back to NRL action after having his bail conditions altered to allow him to travel interstate and overseas.
While he continues to face multiple charges in relation to an alleged assault of a tradie at Warrawong in November, the NRL lifted its no-fault stand-down after the matter was shifted to local court where Amone and his father, co-accused Talatau Dal Amone, will fight their respective charges in a two-day hearing scheduled for August 18-19 this year.
The shift dramatically reduced the potential jail time, bringing it under the threshold for an automatic NRL stand-down, though strict bail conditions prevented him from interstate or overseas travel.
Defence lawyer Elias Tabchouri sought to vary those terms on Wednesday to allow Amone to fullfil the obligations of his Dragons contract.
The adjustment leaves him free to make Dragons' trip to Brisbane this weekend and to the Gold Coast in round eight.
It brings the 20-year-old a step closer to a top-grade return, with best mate Jayden Sullivan hoping to see Amone back in the NRL sooner rather than later.
"We were in the gym [last Tuesday] and I sort of had a feeling something was up because Hook (Anthony Griffin) came in the gym and he doesn't really come in the gym," Sullivan said.
"Junz came in an he was quite emotional. It just shows how he's held himself after all the stuff that's happened.
"It puts a smile on my face to know that my best mate's playing footy and doing what he loves. I can't wait to see him back playing first grade where he belongs."
Sullivan said the feeling would remain even if it came at his own expense after slipping into the No. 6 jumper in Amone's absence the Dragons season-opener on Sunday.
The bulk of his previous NRL experience had come as a bench utility, a role Amone also filled through his first NRL campaign in 2021.
Sullivan's confident they could make it work no matter what number sat on their respective backs.
"I played that [utility] role when Junz was starting at six, so I don't see why it wouldn't work with pretty much the same player," Sullivan said.
"We have different attributes, but whatever happens happens. I'm sure, whatever Hook decides, that'll be the best thing for the team.
"I know Junz will put his best foot forward and I'll put my best foot forward for the team. Whatever makes the team better, we'll do it."
Sullivan did nothing to surrender his starting jumper in his side's win over the Titans, producing a composed performance in the halves, a missed tackle on AJ Brimson that led to a try the only blemish.
"Hook challenged me just to do my role, I felt like I did that," he said.
"It really helps having Dozer (Ben Hunt) there, he's so energetic and always around the ball. I was just sniffing around and, when he went one, I'd fix the other side.
"We complemented we each other and if felt like we linked when we needed to link and when we didn't need to he took his opportunities.
"I probably sat back on mine a little bit but it's just learning. I don't go into a game pre-empting things, I just kicked into the dead corner and made my tackles, except for the one on AJ which probably faulted my performance a little bit.
"That's my main focus this week, just making sure I make my tackles and get to my kick. The attacking side of things will come."
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