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Jack de Belin's cancer revelation amid rape allegations

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Jack de Belin reportedly underwent surgery for testicular cancer in the months prior to his sexual assault trial in Wollongong. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Jack de Belin reportedly underwent surgery for testicular cancer in the months prior to his sexual assault trial in Wollongong. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Jack de Belin's legal battles have reportedly coincided with the stood-down NRL star undergoing surgery for testicular cancer.

The shock news was reported by News Corp with the St George Illawarra forward awaiting a retrial in Sydney over an allegation of rape, after a jury in Wollongong was unable to reach a verdict in the initial proceedings.

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De Belin has not played a game the past two seasons after he was stood down by the NRL over an allegation stemming from an incident in December 2018.

It's reported that the 29-year-old found a lump in his testicle earlier in 2020 and had keyhole surgery in September - two months before his trial began in November - which was deemed to be successful.

De Belin's manager Steve Gillis told News Corp: "It's a private and personal matter.

Jack de Belin will not drain with the Dragons this season, new head coach Anthony Griffin has confirmed. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Jack de Belin will not drain with the Dragons this season, new head coach Anthony Griffin has confirmed. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"He's a very strong willed man and his focus remains on clearing his name before the courts."

De Belin trained with the Dragons for the past two seasons but coach Anthony Griffin said he would not be doing so in the short term as they prepare for the 2021 campaign.

Griffin said NRL training should be the furthest thing from de Belin's mind.

De Belin no distraction for Dragons in NRL

Speaking for the first time as Dragons coach on Thursday, Griffin said former State of Origin forward de Belin would not be returning to training in the short term.

De Belin's presence at training has been labelled a distraction to the misfiring side in the past but Griffin said it wouldn't be a problem next season.

"He's got a legal battle on his hands," Griffin said.

"Personally I respect that, we've got no control over it so that will be his main focus at the moment, not training with the football team.

"Right at the moment that's something external to what's happening here.

"He's been in a legal battle, this is probably the furthest thing from his mind at the moment."

Having their best forward in peak physical condition at training but unable to play has been a cloud hanging over the Dragons for the past two seasons.

In both campaigns they have finished in the bottom four.

It's a situation that threatens to spoil the Dragons' 2021 season too with de Belin's retrial set to commence in April, meaning if he is found not guilty the first match he could play is in round nine.

It's understood the NRL has offered the club salary cap dispensation for de Belin's replacement while he is unavailable, after he agreed to a three-year deal with the Dragons.

That contract is yet to be registered by the NRL and until the legal process is completed he is only receiving a percentage of his pay.

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