Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton will be free to play for the Indigenous All Stars after the pair apologised for an “embarrassing” skirmish in Canberra which led to their arrests.
- NRL stars Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton have apologised for what they say was a ‘harmless” wrestle during a birthday celebration that led to their arrest
- Mitchell and Wighton were charged with alleged offences including fighting in a public place after being arrested in Canberra
- The NRL has confirmed the pair are still free to play in the Indigenous All Stars game against the Maori in Rotorua
The pair were arrested on Bunda St in Canberra’s CBD at 3:45am on Sunday following Wighton’s 30th birthday celebrations.
The NRL has confirmed the incident — described by the players as “harmless” — will not rule either player out of Saturday’s game against the Maori.
“Both Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton remain available to participate in the 2023 All Stars match this Saturday in Rotorua,” the NRL said in a statement.
“The NRL will await the conclusion of the criminal proceedings before finalising its process, and determining any applicable sanction.”
The alleged offences do not meet the threshold of the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.
Canberra five-eighth Wighton was charged with fighting in a public place and failing to comply with an exclusion direction.
South Sydney fullback Mitchell was charged with resisting a territory public official, fighting in a public place and failing to comply with an exclusion direction.
The pair, who are close friends from their time in NSW and Australia camps, are due to attend court on February 22.
They issued a joint statement on Monday apologising for their actions.
“We wanted to express remorse for putting ourselves in the position to embarrass our clubs and the NRL over the weekend,” the statement said.
“We were there to celebrate Jack’s 30th with family and friends.
“While everyone enjoyed a great night, we understand that our wrestle, as harmless as we believed it to be, was a poor decision and may have looked bad.
“We are sorry for this, and know that we need to be better when in public.
“We remain great friends, and are looking forward to proudly representing our community at All Stars this weekend.”
This year’s All Stars fixture is the first to be held in New Zealand, with Mitchell set to don the Indigenous jersey alongside his brother Shaquai for the first time.