x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Shamed Houston resigns

The second-rower has resigned from the the Newcastle Knights yesterday after being charged with four drug-related offences.

Chris Houston has resigned from the the Newcastle Knights yesterday after being charged with four drug-related offences. The second-rower was suspended by the NRL club on Monday after he was charged with three counts of supplying ecstasy and another count of supplying cocaine. Houston, 25, had recently signed a new two-year deal at the club. "I've indicated to Chris that we will accept [his resignation], we understand that he's got a huge battle to fight now and his mind just couldn't be around football at that period of time," said Steve Burraston, the club's chief executive. "But we will defend his innocence until he's proven guilty, as the system demands that we do, and we'll let the legal process run its course."

Houston became the second Knights player charged with drug offences in three months after his fellow forward and former housemate, Danny Wicks, was arrested in December. In rugby union, the Waikato Chiefs welcome back their All Blacks duo Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu for their Super 14 encounter against the Queensland Reds tomorrow. Muliaina, the full-back, will lead the Chiefs for the first time this season after enjoying a three-week break as part of his contract with New Zealand Rugby Union, while Sivivatu is back on the wing after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said they will not be releasing James Haskell back to Stade Francais for their Top 14 clash with Toulouse this weekend, despite this week not being one of the designated international weeks. Stade said in a statement yesterday that the former Wasps forward needs to return to France as they do not have an agreement with England that would allow Haskell to remain with the national side.

* With agencies