Bulldogs players appeal sacking after schoolgirl scandal

Jayden Okunbor is set to appeal his de-registration from the NRL, alongside teammate Corey Harawira-Naera, after the two were involved in a sex scandal earlier this year. Picture: Getty Images

Banned former Canterbury players Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor will appeal their indefinite NRL ban after the Bulldogs' schoolgirl sex scandal.

Both players was deregistered by the NRL last week after they brought schoolgirls back to their hotel in Port Macquarie last month following a club school visit.

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The incidents, were labelled "inexcusable" by both the NRL and the Bulldogs last week, and cost the club a $2 million sponsorship deal.

However, the pair has now taken up the option to appeal their ban, with the case to go before NRL appeals committee chief and High Court judge Ian Callinan.

No date has been set for the hearing.

The bans have the potential derail both players' careers.

Harawira-Naera made his New Zealand debut last year and is a key member of the Bulldogs' all-star back row at age 24.

Okunbor meanwhile has played just 10 NRL games at age 23 and could be hard pressed finding a club to apply for registration in the future.

While there were no questions over the consensual nature of any acts, the NRL last week claimed the behaviour of both players constituted very serious breaches of the league's rules.

“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.”

Sex scandal prompts Andrew Johns advice to Bulldogs

Put down the phone. Read a book. Don't be knobheads.

That is Andrew Johns' tip for NRL players to mull over in self-isolation, saying it could help avoid off-field scandals like the recent Canterbury controversy.

Okunbor, 23, and Harawira-Naera, 24, were accused of contacting the girls on social media and inviting them to the team hotel for consensual sex after earlier visiting a high school for a promotional NRL visit.

Johns said players didn't need any more education from the NRL on how to conduct themselves but still offered some free, old school advice.

"How much education can you give them?" he told Wide World of Sports.

"I will give them some education - get your phones, put them in your bag and don't get them out.

"Don't look at social media. It's not real life.

"A little bit of old school (advice) - don't be knobheads, be smart.

"Go and buy a book, read some books, you might find you actually enjoy it."