Canterbury Bulldogs players Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor have been sacked by the club and the NRL for breaching code of conduct.
The pair were involved in off-field incidents in the lead up to the start of the NRL season, with concerns surrounding alleged sexual misconduct with two high school girls.
They were both stood down by the Bulldogs ahead of their round one game against Parramatta and have now had their NRL contracts officially deregistered.
In a statement on the NRL website, competition CEO Todd Greenberg said: “The behaviour of both players was inexcusable and a very serious breach of the code of conduct.
“The game will not tolerate such conduct and as such both players have had their registrations cancelled. This decision should send a very clear message to all players of our stance on such behaviour.”
The Bulldogs released a statement of their own, supporting the decision: “The conduct of the two players, on the eve of our final trial match, demonstrated an unacceptable lack of respect for their teammates, their coach and club officials, our hosts in Port Macquarie and fans of the game everywhere.
“An important part of the role of being a professional rugby league player is to promote the game and act as an ambassador for your club and the code. There can be no tolerance for any abuse of the privileged status the game affords its leading players.
“The consequences of this matter have been serious and far-reaching and protecting the welfare of the young women involved has been a priority for us since we were first alerted to this issue. They have, unfortunately, been the victims of some distasteful social media attacks which are not called for and need to stop.
“We have been in regular contact with them, their families and their school and we will continue to offer ongoing support moving forward.”