Manly hooker Manase Fainu has been stood down by the NRL after being charged over an alleged stabbing during a brawl at a Mormon church function.
Fainu was charged with three offences relating to an altercation at a church dance in Sydney's southwest on Friday night, with police alleging he produced a knife and stabbed a man.
The 21-year-old could spend at least the next seven weeks behind bars after being denied bail when he appeared in the Liverpool Local Court on Tuesday.
He is listed to return for a committal hearing via video link on December 16.
Fainu's legal team indicated outside court he will strenuously deny the charges after handing himself in to Liverpool police on Tuesday morning.
The most serious charge - intent to cause grievous bodily harm - carries a maximum sentence of 25 years - well above the 11-year minimum which sees players automatically stood down by the NRL.
"Given the charges, Manase Fainu is automatically subject to the no-fault stand down rule, which will remain in place until the outcome of the court proceedings," said NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg.
Manly agreed with the stand down via a statement.
"The club accepts and endorses this decision and will continue to support the well-being of Manase and his family," it read.
The incident signals another grim start to a NRL off-season, following last year's summer from hell.
The NRL were forced to bring in the no-fault policy after a string of incidents, including NSW and St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin's sexual assault charges.
Fainu is the fourth player to be stood down under the rule, meaning he can still train if he is released on bail but is unable to play until court proceedings are complete.
Police documents submitted in court on Tuesday said Fainu is "suspected to be a member of a Pacific Islander criminal group" and there was "an unacceptable risk" he would commit another serious offence, endanger the victim or interfere with evidence if granted bail.
Manly’s depth at hooker could be tested
No other member of their squad has started in the position, with Zach Dockar-Clay the next best option through the lower grades.
Michael Lichaa and Kurt Baptiste are among the hookers without a contract for 2020.
Both Manly and the NRL have been contacted for comment, but the league's chief executive had earlier warned on Tuesday it was a reminder for players to behave before the charges were handed down.
"Again, it's a reminder," Greenberg said.
"It's a reminder that I've provided to our clubs and players a couple of weeks ago when we spoke, which is, for players not to put themselves in difficult situations where there can be trouble.
"Make good decisions and hold yourself accountable.
"I can tell you that players are acutely aware of their responsibilities and if players between now and the start of next season get themselves into trouble, there will be significant consequences.
"I've made that very clear and we'll continue to do that."