Maika Sivo is set to miss Parramatta’s return to NRL pre-season training after being blocked from flying out of Fiji due to an indecent assault charge.
Sivo faced court yesterday after being arrested for allegedly annoying a staff member at a resort near Nadi on Saturday night.
He was granted bail but was issued a stop departure order, preventing Sivo from returning to Sydney and resuming preparations for the 2020 season with the Eels.
Parramatta’s full squad return from holiday break on January 2, with Sivo due to front Nadi Magistrate’s Court again on January 7.
The Eels were initially confused about the nature of the charge, having been in possession of a charge sheet accusing Sivo of indecent annoyance.
The club said the statement of facts aren’t in dispute.
“While it’s understood that the statement of facts regarding the incident remains the same, Maika’s charge has been amended to indecent assault,” the Eels said.
“Maika and the club are respectful of Fijian law and we continue to offer our full co-operation with local law enforcement authorities.”
Parramatta are also exploring whether to send an official to Nadi to support the 26-year-old Fijian rookie, who finished as the league’s leading tryscorer this year.
Already contracted until the end of the 2020 campaign, Sivo was rewarded for his impressive season with a two-year extension in October.
The assault charge comes six weeks after the winger scrambled to get on a flight home to Sydney from Fiji to undergo emergency surgery on his hand.
It the latest incident in another troublesome summer for the NRL.
Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Brisbane front-rower David Fifita were both embroiled in separate off-field incidents at the same nightclub in Bali.
Asofa-Solomona was handed a three-game ban, resulting in his absence during New Zealand’s recent rugby league Tests against Australia and Great Britain.
Fifita escaped sanction due to inconclusive evidence, despite numerous reports stating he had “peace agreement” with an alleged victim.
Manly hooker Manase Fainu has also been stood down indefinitely as he faces multiple charges in relation to the stabbing of a man in October.