SYDNEY (AP) — Josh Papalii has been cut from Australia's squad for a rugby league test against New Zealand next week after pleading guilty to a charge of drink driving.
Australia's National Rugby League announced Friday that the Canberra and Queensland State-of-Origin forward had been withdrawn from Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad.
Meninga said Papalii accepted the decision and understood it was in the best interests of the team.
"The game has made a really strong stance against this behavior and I'm a very strong believer that this stance is the right course of action," Meninga said, adding that the omission for the May 5 test match didn't preclude Papalii from selection for the Rugby League World Cup later in the year.
The sanction was announced a day after Papalii was fined $1,000 Australian dollars ($750) and banned from driving for eight months over the January incident.
The Canberra Raiders planned a meeting Monday to decide if further sanctions were required.