Brisbane Broncos forward Joe Ofahengaue has been charged over an alleged early morning casino cheating incident.
The 21-year-old Tongan national representative returned to the Broncos NRL side this year after he was dropped to the Queensland Cup toward the end of 2016.
His case is due to be mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.
A police spokesman said a 21-year-old man was issued with a notice to appear over an incident in Brisbane’s Treasury Casino at 5.45am on April 8.
Ofahengaue was charged with cheating by fraudulent act, practice or scheme.
He was reportedly not expected to appear in court in person.
Broncos CEO Paul White said the club are aware of the matter and have notified the NRL Integrity Unit.
“We will allow due course to run and then determine if any further action is to be taken”, White added.
Only last week, Wayne Bennett welcomed back Ofahengaue from the rugby league wilderness for Friday night’s NRL clash with South Sydney after revealing the young forward had “got ahead of himself”. He also took on the Panthers on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old appeared for the Broncos for the first time since Round 21 last year after replacing bench forward Tevita Pangai Jr, who is out for up to two months with a finger injury.
Before the game, Bennett said Ofahengaue now knew what it took to be an NRL player after losing his way in 2016.
“Joe probably got a bit ahead of himself and he had to go back and appreciate what playing the NRL really means,” the Brisbane coach said.
“He’s done a great job of himself in the last couple of weeks.
“His form’s good and he’s ready to go”.
After a dream debut season, Ofahengaue played in the 2015 grand final before his form dropped off last year but still managed 17 games.
Asked if Ofahengaue had needed an attitude adjustment after his 2015 success, Bennett said: “I don’t think it was an attitude thing.
“They just get opportunities and get ahead of themselves and think they have really made it when they haven’t.
“You never really make it. Every week you have to prove whether you are up for the game regardless of whether you have played one or 100 games.”