National Rugby League star Hayne to plead innocent to charge

SYDNEY (AP) — A lawyer for Jarryd Hayne has told a court the National Rugby League star intends to plead innocent to a charge of sexual assault.

The 30-year-old former rugby league international appeared Monday in Burwood Local Court and had his case adjourned to Feb. 13 in Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney. Hayne's bail was extended.

His lawyer, Richard Pontello, was quoted by the Australian Associated Press as saying Hayne "maintains his innocence. A plea of not guilty will be entered."

Hayne, who spent a season with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL before returning to rugby league via a brief stint with Fiji's rugby sevens squad in 2016, was charged last month over the alleged sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in Newcastle on Sept. 30, the night of the NRL final between Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm.

Hayne is off contract at the Parramatta Eels.


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