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NRL will not celebrate Michael Jennings’ 300th game

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NRL will not celebrate Michael Jennings' 300th game

The NRL has decided not to honor Michael Jennings’ 300-game milestone with traditional celebrations due to past incidents outside the Sydney Roosters center field.

Jennings, 36, will become the 51st player to reach the coveted milestone when the injury-plagued Roosters add him to the starting squad for Thursday’s clash against Newcastle.

Normally, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo would present the ball to a player reaching his 300th game before kick-off. A press release is also circulating in which league officials pay tribute to the player, and on the field the 30-meter line is replaced with “300” as a nod to the achievement.

But the NRL confirmed on Monday that the celebrations had been cancelled.

“Due to past conduct, Michael Jennings will not receive official NRL recognition in his 300th match,” Abdo said in a statement.

Jennings received a three-year ban from the NRL after failing a drugs test during the 2020 Parramatta final.

Jennings pleaded guilty in 2021 to reducing his four-year suspension, but maintained that he did not intentionally take the banned performance-enhancing substances Ligandrol and Ibutamoren.

In the years since, Jennings became embroiled in a legal battle with his ex-wife, who accused the NRL player of raping her several times during their marriage.

As of November 2023, Jennings had yet to pay him the almost $500,000 ordered at the conclusion of the civil dispute in the New South Wales District Court.

Lawyers for Jennings’ ex-wife Kirra Wilden declined to comment when approached by the AAP for confirmation on any payment plan put in place by the NRL player.

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