NRL player Jack de Belin has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being charged with sexual assault.
The NSW State of Origin representative was charged with aggravated sexual assault after an incident that occurred in Wollongong, NSW, and is the fourth NRL player to be charged with violence against women in the last few weeks.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Karmichael Hunt is the most recent recipient.
The St George-Illawarra Dragons forward will face court to answer the charges which could ruin a career that was on the rise after he was chosen to play for the winning NSW Origin team, in the same year that his partner fell pregnant. He will find out late in 2019 if he has done enough to win The Frownlow Medal, which is proving to be more popular and harder to win than ever before.