Just before the World Cup last year, North Queensland Cowboys forward Luciano Leilua’s tournament hopes were up in the air after being charged with common assault after an incident with a 26-year-old woman in an alleged incident of domestic violence.
It was later confirmed to have denied Leilua a place in the World Cup as he has been stood down by the NRL’s No-Fault policy.
The statement released by the NRL, said: “The NRL has advised the North Queensland Cowboys that Luciano Leilua is subject to a No-Fault Stand Down condition under the NRL Rules.
“The decision should in no way be interpreted as a view on the innocence or guilt of the player.
“The discretionary No-Fault Stand Down condition has been applied in this instance as the criminal charges involve allegations that the player has acted violently in relation to a female.”
This meant Samoa were forced to without one of their key forwards in the tournament.
It did allow Ligi Sao of Hull FC a chance to be called up and ultimately play in the World Cup Final.
In a strange twist of fate, shortly after being stood down Leilua proposed to the woman who he was accused of acting violent towards and she said yes.
Today, the charges against him have been dropped in court setting him up for an NRL return in the near future.