David Klemmer has been stood down by the Newcastle Knights and won't play in Round 21 after after he was issued with a show-cause notice "relating to on field disciplinary matters".
Klemmer was not included in the Knights' 22-man squad to face the Wests Tigers on Sunday, after allegedly abusing a club trainer and refusing to be substituted late in their loss to the Bulldogs.
BRUTAL TWIST: Brandon Smith banished by Melbourne Storm
'THIS IS WRONG': NRL takes action over 'ridiculous' farce
The Knights have not put a timeframe on when the prop may return to action.
Discussing the controversy on NRL 360 on Tuesday night, the panel showed vision of Klemmer seemingly ignoring a trainer's request for him to leave the field in the dying stages of their 24-10 loss.
He then allegedly verbally abused trainer Hayden Knowles after finally coming from the field.
“It happened over a series of tackles throughout the last minutes of the game, where they continually tried to get him off the field,” Paul Kent said on NRL 360.
“Now Klemmer just refused to go. He’s been disciplined, he hasn’t been chosen after this weekend’s game.”
Fellow journalist Paul Crawley said the Klemmer incident is part of bigger issues at the club.
“There’s a problem up at Newcastle that everyone’s ducking and covering from, there’s players up there that aren’t happy," Crawley said.
"There’s a division within the club and no one can deny it. You’ve just got to look at their performances.
“There’s obviously some players out there that aren’t real happy and David Klemmer on the weekend has probably fired up.
“Something’s happened to him on the field, he didn’t want to come off but I assure you there’s got to be more to it.”
Co-host Braith Anasta added: “That happens every weekend at a club where a player doesn’t want to come off the field or will argue with his trainers.
“I don’t know to what extent, but a show cause notice is very dramatic at 6pm on a Tuesday night where they haven’t picked him in the side. There’s got to be more to it. There just has to be.”
Pressure mounting on Adam O'Brien at Newcastle
Klemmer was recently linked with a move to Parramatta, before the deal fell through before the August 1 transfer deadline.
The development comes after Knights coach Adam O'Brien conceded he may have come across as an "egomaniac" after a "poorly-articulated" press conference following Sunday's defeat.
Newcastle's home record is 2-8 this season, and O'Brien spoke of his track record of reaching four grand finals as an assistant at the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne before getting the Knights job.
The 44-year-old, who took the Knights to the finals in 2020 and 2021, is currently coaching a side running 14th and on Tuesday moved to clarify his comments.
"I'd like that (press conference) back," he said.
"It looks like I'm an egomaniac but that wasn't the message.
"I was trying to talk to the supporter who sits on the hill who must be wondering if they practice defence. Do they do tackle technique at training? Are they fit and tough?"
O'Brien believes he still has the full backing of the Newcastle hierarchy but understands why his future would come under the microscope.
"I live in reality and I'm not stupid," he said. "It's a results-driven business."
He described the Knights' two finals finishes under him as "band-aids on a gunshot wound".
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.