NRL clear Amone to return from stand-down
Talatau Amone will make his return to football through reserve grade at St George Illawarra after a change in his court case released him from the NRL's stand-down order.
Amone was last month banned from playing under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy, as he awaited trial for an alleged assault late last year.
At the time, the Dragons five-eighth was facing a maximum of 14 years in jail if found guilty of accusations of causing reckless grievous bodily harm in company and other more minor charges.
However, he has since had his case downgraded from the district court to local court, meaning he can be jailed for a maximum of five years for all charges combined.
That is well below the NRL's threshold for invoking the no-fault stand-down policy - which currently stands at an 11-year maximum sentence - prompting the league to allow Amone to play again.
"The NRL has today confirmed that the no-fault stand down condition will no longer apply to St George Illawarra Dragons player Talatau Junior Amone, effective immediately," the NRL said in a statement.
"Mr Amone is now eligible to be selected to participate as a player in the NRL competition."
The Dragons had spent the past few months preparing to start the season without Amone, with fellow youngster Jayden Sullivan in line to wear the No.6 jersey.
The club on Tuesday opted to stick with those plans, naming Sullivan at five-eighth for their round two clash with Gold Coast and leaving Amone on an extended bench.
AAP has been told Amone will only play if there is an injury to Sullivan, Ben Hunt or utility Moses Mbye at training this week, and will otherwise run out in the halves for the Dragons in NSW Cup.
Amone has continued training throughout his stand-down with his teammates, who had thrown their arms around the 20-year-old. Sullivan and Tyrell Sloan are among those who played junior football with him.
"He's had me before, we've been through worse together. This is just another step in our lives," Sloan told AAP last week.
"It's a big thing for Junes (Amone). As a club we have his back. All the boys love him as a brother.
"It's not going to change who we are or what we believe of Junes. He is definitely one of the best young talents coming through.
"It's sad what's happened. As a club we need to back him as much as we can. He knows we have his back."
The Dragons have lost forward Jack de Belin to a calf injury for the Titans clash, with Toby Couchman to debut for the club after their round-one bye.