NZ Warriors target Jack de Belin will face trial over rape allegations in November, after losing his bid to have the case thrown out.
On Friday, de Belin learned of the Wollongong Local Court ruling, along with co-accused Callan Sinclair, over an incident involving a 19-year-old woman.
De Belin, who is currently contracted to St George Illawarra Dragons, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault in company and one count of aggravated sexual assault in company inflicting actual bodily harm that allegedly took place in a Wollongong apartment in December 2018.
The 29-year-old has been unable to play since early 2019, after becoming the first player suspended under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy.
He will face a readiness hearing on September 7 and his trial is scheduled to begin on November 2.
De Belin's trial, which was expected to last two weeks, was originally scheduled for February 3, but was hit by several delays.
During his stand-down, de Belin has been allowed to train with the Dragons and has collected his salary, reportedly worth about $600,000.
He is off contract with the Dragons at the end of the NRL season and the Warriors are among the teams interested in his services.
Incoming Warriors coach Nathan Brown says de Belin would be "an outstanding" signing for the club.
According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, the Warriors are prepared to offer him $200,000 more than he's currently earning.
De Belin has played more than 150 NRL games and three games for New South Wales in 2018.
According to a separate SMH report, the Warriors are also one of three clubs chasing the services of Gold Coast Titans captain Kevin Proctor, which could indicate they've given up hope of signing de Belin.
Join us at 5pm Saturday for live updates of the NZ Warriors v Newcastle Knights NRL clash