12 Mar 2009

Manly accept Stewart ban, will appeal massive fine

5:45 am on 12 March 2009

Manly have accepted the National Rugby League's decision to ban their fullback Brett Stewart from playing but plan to appeal the club's $128,500 fine for hosting the booze-fuelled season launch.

The NRL's decision to suspend the Manly star for the first four rounds of the competition has received a mixed reaction, with officials supporting the move but NRL players furious at the decision.

Stewart's ban came after he was charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.

The NRL stressed its decision to stop Stewart playing was not intended to reflect any judgment regarding the police investigation.

The fullback is due back in court after the fourth round of the competition in April and the NRL will review their stance on Stewart after that.