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Bulldogs statement on Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs would like to make the following statement on Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor.

"After discussions with both Jayden and Corey it has been agreed that Corey will leave the club and Jayden will stay at Belmore.

The club acknowledges that the original decision to de-register the two players was overturned by the NRL Appeals Committee.

This committee, which was headed by a former High Court Judge of Australia, made a ruling that stated that the players' contracts at the Bulldogs were binding and that the club was required to uphold these contracts.

As such, the club met with both Jayden and Corey in regard to resuming their contracts at Belmore.

Jayden expressed his desire to remain at Belmore and apologised unreservedly to the club and the wider rugby league community for the harm he had caused to all parties.

He has since undergone counselling as part of his rehabilitation and has pledged to offer his time to be involved in a full re-integration into the Bulldogs Community program.

Corey also apologised for his actions to all parties concerned, however, after further discussion with the player it was felt that in the best interests of both parties he get a fresh start away from Belmore.

Bulldogs Chair Lynne Anderson understood that this was a difficult process for all concerned:

"After the NRL Appeals Committee overturned the original de-registration of the players and stated the players' contracts be upheld, we sat down with both Corey and Jayden.

While we made it clear to both players that what had happened was unacceptable and had caused enormous harm to all involved, we also believed that it was important to have honest conversations with both Corey and Jayden.

Both were extremely contrite and understanding of the harm they had caused and apologised unreservedly.

At the end of those conversations it became clear that while Jayden very much wanted to be given a second chance at Belmore, it was in the best interests of both parties if Corey was given a release to make a fresh start somewhere else.

While we totally understand that the behaviour that took place was unacceptable, we also looked at the opportunity for a second chance and for the ability of the individuals to redeem themselves.

Jayden is a local junior who has been with the club since the U14's all the way through to our NRL squad. He has readily agreed to undergo further educational courses in this area and be part of a community program on his return to the club."