Jack de Belin embraces his fiancée and cradles his baby as he’s given a thunderous applause in his first NRL match in almost three years after rape charges against him were dropped
- Jack de Belin makes triumphant return to rugby league after almost three years
- The Dragons star faced two rape trials but had the charges against him dropped
- After St George’s win de Belin embraced his fiancé and their young children
Jack de Belin embraced his devoted fiancé and young children after making a return to the rugby league field.
The St George Illawarra forward, 30, received a standing ovation at Sydney’s Jubilee Oval as the Dragons took on the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night.
It was the Blues origin player’s first NRL match in almost three years after being sidelined to face rape charges, which were eventually dropped last month.
Jack De Belin of the Dragons is seen with partner Alyce Taylor after the round 13 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos
The St George Illawarra forward, 30, received a standing ovation at Sydney’s Jubilee Oval as the Dragons took on the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night
Alyce Taylor and de Belin embrace after the Dragon’s star’s first game back in almost three years
The Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to pursue the sexual assault case against the St George Illawarra lock after two criminal trials failed to reach a verdict.
The case meant de Belin was banned from playing under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy, but the hard-running Dragon’s star is now free to continue his footy career.
There was a huge roar from the crowd when finally de Belin stepped onto the field in St George’s 52-24 win over Brisbane.
He came on as an interchange player in jersey 17 and ended up staying for about 25 minutes.
When the match was over he headed over to his partner Alyce Taylor and their two young children.
Ms Taylor stood by de Belin throughout the case and two trials, so it was an emotional moment when the couple embraced on the sidelines to the thunderous cheer of nearby supporters.
De Belin of the Dragons is tackled during the round 13 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos
De Belin of the Dragons heads back to the change rooms after the round 13 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on June 03
Channel Nine commentators Darren Lockyer and Allana Ferguson were full of praise for de Belin who performed strongly given the time off.
‘He looked good for a guy that hadn’t played in three years. It’s a great start for Jack de Belin back in the NRL,’ Lockyer said.
Ferguson said his toughness remained despite the layoff.
‘He made some great tackles and picked up over 80m,’ she said.
‘He will always put his body on the line for his teammates and it opened up opportunities either side of the ruck.’
Jack De Belin of the Dragons gestures to supporters following their win in the Round 13 NRL match between the St. George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos
De Belin and his co-accused Callan Sinclair, 24, were facing the prospect of another trial later this year after trials in Sydney and Wollongong resulted in hung juries.
But the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution advised lawyers for the accused men that the charges will be withdrawn.
De Belin and Sinclair pleaded not guilty to raping a then-19-year-old woman in a North Wollongong unit in December 2018, saying they had a consensual threesome.
The woman alleged she was attacked by de Belin and then cried as the men took turns raping her.
One of de Belin’s charges – aggravated sexual assault in company – carried a maximum term of life in prison.
Before tonight, De Belin’s last played for the Dragons back in September 2018.
Channel Nine commentators Darren Lockyer and Allana Ferguson were full of praise for de Belin who performed strongly given the time off (de Belin pictured with family)
There was a huge roar from the crowd when finally de Belin stepped onto the field in St George’s 52-24 win over Brisbane