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4 days ago
Rookie Canberra winger Nathan Smith was stood down for two games, told to explain his behaviour to the Raiders' sponsors and left to legally fend for himself by the NRL club following his weekend arrest in Sydney.
In a clear sign clubs are growing sick and tired of sticking up for their errant players, the Raiders informed Smith he would be held accountable for his actions.
"He'll also be visiting our major sponsors during the coming week so that he is the one who'll be explaining himself - it won't be left to our marketing staff," chief executive Simon Hawkins said.
"To reinforce the club's view that players are responsible for their own actions, the club will not be sourcing or financing any legal representation on Nathan's behalf.
"It is hoped that by speaking to major stakeholders of the club, Nathan will fully understand the potential cost of his actions to the Raiders organisation."
Smith was arrested and charged with wilful obscene exposure and resisting arrest after an incident at Kings Cross in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He will appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on August 25.
The 21-year-old requested and was given permission to remain with friends in Newcastle on Saturday night but ended up travelling to Sydney for a night out.
It's understood Smith exposed his buttocks to a friend before fleeing from police.
Smith met with Raiders officials including chairman John McIntyre, Hawkins, general manager Don Furner and coach Matthew Elliott at the Raiders headquarters on Monday morning where his punishment was meted out.
NRL chief executive David Gallop backed the penalty.
"I fully support ramming home the ramifications of off-field misconduct by requiring the players to front up to club sponsors," Gallop said.
"It's something we have been talking to the clubs about.
"We will review the entire matter when the police charges are resolved."