Footy world in disbelief over Dragons’ Jack de Belin captaincy consideration

Footy figures have reacted with disbelief to reports St George was considering naming Jack de Belin as captain for this weekend before a late backflip when teams were announced on Tuesday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports coach Anthony Griffin was thinking about giving de Belin the armband for Sunday’s clash with the Roosters but club officials opposed the idea and instead Tariq Sims had the “C” next to his name on the official team sheet submitted to the NRL yesterday afternoon.

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In May the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew sexual assault charges against de Belin and his co-accused Callan Sinclair following two District Court trials which ended in hung juries. Both men consistently maintained they were innocent and had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In July, de Belin was alleged to have misled Dragons officials about his involvement in a BBQ at former teammate Paul Vaughan’s house that broke NSW Covid-19 regulations, resulted in $305,000 worth of fines handed out to players and saw Vaughan’s contract ripped up.

NRL commentator Andrew Voss was among those questioning how Griffin or anyone at the Dragons could consider making de Belin captain after that.

Jack de Belin returned to the NRL this year after being stood down whlie his legal battle played out. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images).Source:Getty Images

“I can’t believe anyone who betrayed the trust of the club this season could possibly be considered for the ‘C’ next to their name any game before the end of this year, but we’re being told Jack de Belin was,” Voss said on SEN Radio’s Breakfast with Vossy.

Daily Telegraph rugby league writer David Riccio told the same program: “Footy clubs do some funny things. They really do. Maybe it’s the air within the bubble that’s confusing the Dragons staff at the moment.

“How did they consider this? Given everything Jack de Belin has dragged that club through.

“Even the hit with a feather that he copped in relation to being involved with the Paul Vaughan BBQ, it’s just impossible to understand how they could consider making Jack de Belin captain.”

Rugby league icon Laurie Daley also hit out.

“I can’t believe they even considered him being the captain of the side given what he put them through the last four to six weeks,” Daley told the Big Sports Breakfast.

“It has cost them their season, they could have played finals. I don’t think it was the right decision.

“I don’t know how he (Griffin) was thinking of putting him (de Belin) in that position. I think the Dragons executive team have made the correct decision by overriding him (Griffin).”

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