Sydney Roosters are bracing for a series of off-field distractions, with internationals Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Michael Jennings to face court this week.
Jennings is due before Parramatta Local Court on Monday to answer charges of hindering police and offensive behaviour over an alleged incident last month.
Kenny-Dowall is set to front Waverley Local Court on Thursday after being charged with a number of domestic violence allegations on Saturday.
The Roosters are flying high two months out from the NRL finals series, sitting in third spot on the NRL ladder after Sunday’s 24-0 defeat of the Warriors.
But the off-field distractions have the potential to derail their premiership campaign.
To add to the Tricolours troubles, up-and-coming prop Willis Meehan was sacked last week in the wake of allegations over his involvement in a robbery earlier this year.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson has moved to defend his club in the wake of these issues.
“It’s easy for me to say we have a strong club because that’s the way I feel,” he said.
“We have a strong foundation at our club to support people during difficult times. We feel like we have a strong bond and we know our values.”
Jennings has pleaded not guilty to his charges, with Kenny-Dowall is expected to do the same.
That could open the way for Kenny-Dowall to return to the Roosters’ line-up for their round-20 fixture against Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Kenny-Dowall sat out the Roosters win over the Warriors.
“Not playing him was a welfare decision from the club and the NRL,” Robinson said.
NRL boss Dave Smith said on Twitter that any player found guilty would be banned from the game for a significant period, but warned against prejudging Kenny-Dowall.
“The NRL abhors domestic violence & there are serious consequences to anyone who’s guilty. Courts determine guilt no one else” Smith said in comments attributed to him on the NRL’s official Twitter feed.
“There is no place for violence against women in this sport. If guilty you will be out a long time-very dangerous to prejudge”