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Jack De Belin St George Illawarra Alyce Taylor watches star in Sydney after rape charges

Jack de Belin has sensationally returned to the footy field less than 48 hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped rape charges against the St George Illawarra star.

Two trials failed to reach a verdict on de Belin, 30, and co-accused, Callan Sinclair, 24, on charges relating to an alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in Wollongong in December, 2018. 

The former NSW State of Origin representative ran out to a guard of honour at Lidcombe Oval in Sydney’s west on Saturday afternoon, with dozens of Dragons fans in attendance to cheer on the lock forward.

His partner Alyce Taylor was also in attendance and the two shared an emotional embrace following the game. 

Jack de Belin has sensationally returned to the footy field less than 48 hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the rape charges against the St George Illawarra star

De Belin embraced his pregnant partner Alyce Taylor following his return to the footy field after rape charges were dropped against the 30-year-old

De Belin embraced his pregnant partner Alyce Taylor following his return to the footy field after rape charges were dropped against the 30-year-old

Alyce Taylor braved the freezing cold conditions in Lidcombe to support her partner with whom she has one child and is heavily pregnant with their second

Alyce Taylor braved the freezing cold conditions in Lidcombe to support her partner with whom she has one child and is heavily pregnant with their second

It didn’t take long for De Belin to be thrown into the action, replacing fellow forward Kaide Ellis after just 16 minutes when he suffered a head knock.

The Western Suburbs Magpies ended up winning the NSW Cup clash 26-18, but it was the successful return of De Belin which mattered most to fans of the Red V.

With first grade coach Anthony Griffin watching on, De Belin, 30, did his selection causes no harm with a number of trademark strong carries, as well as displaying some impressive ball playing skills at times.

He is tipped to be named in the Dragons NRK side on Tuesday afternoon ahead of their round 13 tussle with the struggling Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval in Sydney’s south on June 3. 

The Dragons released a statement on Thursday confirming de Belin would immediately return to training and working towards a return to first grade. 

‘It’s a situation where there are no winners, but it’s a good opportunity now to close the chapter and look ahead and move forward from something that’s been hanging with the club now for a bit over two years,’ said Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb.

‘We’re hoping his contract will be registered tomorrow (Friday) and he’ll be available to play reserve grade on Saturday against the Wests Magpies.’

St George Illawarra Dragons player Jack De Belin (pictured) during the NSW Cup round 12 match against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Lidcombe Oval on Saturday

St George Illawarra Dragons player Jack De Belin (pictured) during the NSW Cup round 12 match against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Lidcombe Oval on Saturday

Jack De Belin (picture centre) was thrown into the fray early and impressed despite the Dragons losing the NSW Cup match

Jack De Belin (picture centre) was thrown into the fray early and impressed despite the Dragons losing the NSW Cup match

De Belin hugs Dragons stars Matt Dufty and Zac Lomax after returning to the field for the first time since the rape allegations surfaced

De Belin hugs Dragons stars Matt Dufty and Zac Lomax after returning to the field for the first time since the rape allegations surfaced

The former NSW Origin forward has been training with the Dragons’ reserve grade side this year and on his own while he was subject to the NRL’s no-fault stand down rules. 

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has vowed that abuse or vilification of de Belin won’t be tolerated.

The NSWRL bolstered security for the match to counter any possible backlash from spectators, while Abdo admitted he did not know how de Belin would be received in his return.

‘I’m not sure how fans will receive Jack, but I will say this, if these charges are in fact dropped, Jack has not been found guilty of any crime, he will be free to play in the competition,’ Abdo said.

‘We’ll always protect and support our players.

‘We don’t accept any vilification or any abuse from our fans for any of our players, so we’ll make sure we’ll be supporting Jack just as we’d be supporting any NRL players.’

The NSW Cup game was de Belin’s first match since the 2018 finals, having been stood down by the NRL during the legal process.

De Belin could then be eligible to play for the Dragons as soon as round 13 against Brisbane, but his NRL return will be at the discretion of coach Anthony Griffin.

The endorsement of de Belin’s contract with the NRL is set to trigger a huge pay rise for the 30-year-old.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin was in attendance as it appears de Belin's return to the first grade setup is imminent

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin was in attendance as it appears de Belin’s return to the first grade setup is imminent

Security was bolstered for de Belin's return as NRL CEO Anthony Abdo said abuse of the Dragons lock would not be tolerated

Security was bolstered for de Belin’s return as NRL CEO Anthony Abdo said abuse of the Dragons lock would not be tolerated

Last year de Belin signed a new deal with the Dragons worth around $700,000 a season, but a clause was inserted that he would earn just $1000 a week until criminal proceedings were over.

Earlier this month de Belin, and co-accused, Callan Sinclair, were left in limbo for the second time when a jury could not reach a verdict on rape charges related to an alleged sexual assault of a teenager in Wollongong in December 2018.

It was the second trial after the first also resulted in a hung jury, with the DPP indicating on Thursday they would not push for a third trial.

‘It’s a situation where there are no winners, but it’s a good opportunity now to close the chapter and look ahead and move forward from something that’s been hanging with the club now for a bit over two years,’ said Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb.

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