Manly hooker Manase Fainu has been stood down by the NRL after being charged over an alleged stabbing during a brawl at a Mormon church function.
Fainu was charged with three offences relating to an altercation at a church dance in Sydney's southwest on Friday night, with police alleging he produced a knife and stabbed a man.
The 21-year-old could spend at least the next seven weeks behind bars after being denied bail when he appeared in the Liverpool Local Court on Tuesday.
He is listed to return for a committal hearing via video link on December 16.
Fainu's legal team indicated outside court he will strenuously deny the charges after handing himself in to Liverpool police on Tuesday morning.
The most serious charge - intent to cause grievous bodily harm - carries a maximum sentence of 25 years - well above the 11-year minimum which sees players automatically stood down by the NRL.
"Given the charges, Manase Fainu is automatically subject to the no-fault stand down rule, which will remain in place until the outcome of the court proceedings," said NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg.
The incident signals another grim start to a NRL off-season, following last year's summer from hell.
The NRL were forced to bring in the no-fault policy after a string of incidents, including NSW and St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin's sexual assault charges.
Fainu is the fourth player to be stood down under the rule, meaning he can still train if he is released on bail but is unable to play until court proceedings are complete.
Police documents submitted in court on Tuesday said Fainu is "suspected to be a member of a Pacific Islander criminal group" and there was "an unacceptable risk" he would commit another serious offence, endanger the victim or interfere with evidence if granted bail.
His absence could shape as a massive blow for the Sea Eagles' 2020 campaign.
They released Apisai Koroisau at the end of last season so Fainu could assume the dummy half role - no other member of the Sea Eagles squad has ever started at hooker.
Zach Dockar-Clay and Lachlan Croker are lower grade options already in the Manly system.
Otherwise Issac Luke, Kurt Baptiste and Michael Lichaa shape as experienced alternatives for next season.
Luke is expected to join St George Illawarra and Lichaa struggled for form under Des Hasler while playing at Canterbury.
Greenberg said the incident served as another warning for players to behave during the off-season.
"Make good decisions and hold yourself accountable," he said.