10 Mar 2009

NRL to let Stewart play

6:37 am on 10 March 2009

The National Rugby League will not stand in the way of Manly selecting fullback Brett Stewart for the reigning premiers' season opener this weekend despite sexual assault allegations against him.

Manly chief executive Grant Mayer says Stewart will be considered for selection when the team to face the Bulldogs is announced today.

The Sea Eagles are facing calls to stand Stewart down while police investigate a 17-year-old girl's claim that he sexually assaulted her last Friday, following the club's season launch at the Manly Wharf Hotel.

NRL boss David Gallop says if it was a clearly established fact that a player had committed a sexual assault then he would not be playing.

Since the allegations surfaced the NRL has pulled its 1.5 million dollar advertising campaign which features Stewart.