Topic: Rugby League

Russell Packer set to be deported 'immediately'

  • Australia

Former Kiwis, and Vodafone Warriors prop, Russell Packer is set to be deported from Australia immediately, according to reports.

It has been reported by Sydney media that the current St. George-Illawarra Dragons front-rower would be forced to leave Australia due to his criminal past.

Packer, 26, was sentenced to two years in prison in January 2014 after being found guilty of occasioning actual bodily harm, in a Sydney brawl, in November 2013, leaving the 22-year old victim with numerous facial injuries and two fractured facial bones.

The Levin-born league player was last month cleared by the NRL to return to first grade football after being forced to play in the second tier, New South Wales cup competition this year, captaining the Dragons’ feeder side, the Illawarra Cutters.

The prospect comes as the Australian government toughens their stance against non-citizens with criminal records, highlighted by the numerous fracas and recent detainee riots at the Australian-led Christmas Island detainee centre, north-east of Australia.

CEO of St. George-Illawarra Dragons, Peter Doust described Packer's behaviour as "exemplary" since his arrival.

Packer has already undergone alcohol rehabilitation and education programs at the Dragons and attended other courses without prompting.

His NRL debut began the Warriors in May 2008, and in 2010 he made an appearance for the New Zealand Māori side who played England. Packer has played 110 first-grade NRL games in total.