Talatau Amone will be able to start the NRL season at St George Illawarra after a change in his court case prompted head office to release him from his stand-down order.

Amone was last month banned from playing under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy, as he awaited trial for an alleged assault late last year.

At the time, the Dragons five-eighth was facing a maximum of 14 years in jail if found guilty of causing reckless grievous bodily harm in company and other more minor charges.

However, his case has since been downgraded from the district court to local court, meaning he can be jailed for a maximum of five years for all charges combined.

That is well below the NRL’s threshold for invoking the no-fault stand-down policy — which currently stands at an 11-year maximum sentence — prompting the league to allow Amone to play again.

“The NRL has today confirmed that the no-fault stand-down condition will no longer apply to St George Illawarra Dragons player Talatau Junior Amone, effective immediately,” the NRL said in a statement.

“Mr Amone is now eligible to be selected to participate as a player in the NRL competition.”

The Dragons had spent the past few months preparing to start the season without Amone, with fellow youngster Jayden Sullivan in line to take the Tonga international’s spot.

nrl player outside court
Amone appeared in Wollongong Court in January.(ABC Illawarra: Tim Fernandez)

There is still a thought Amone could be eased back into the team, with the Dragons to face Gold Coast on Sunday after their opening-round bye.

Amone had continued training alongside his teammates, who had thrown their arms around the 20-year-old, with Sullivan and Tyrell Sloan among those having played junior football with him.

“He’s had me before, we’ve been through worse together. This is just another step in our lives,” Sloan said last week.

“It’s a big thing for Junes (Amone). As a club we have his back. All the boys love him as a brother.

“It’s not going to change who we are or what we believe of Junes. He is definitely one of the best young talents coming through.

“It’s sad what’s happened. As a club we need to back him as much as we can. He knows we have his back.”