Raiders star Jack Wighton in alleged nightclub fight
Phil Rothfield, Sports Editor-at-Large, The Daily Telegraph
April 3, 2018 7:00pm
THE Canberra Raiders have chosen troubled fullback Jack Wighton to play in Thursday night’s desperation match against the Canterbury Bulldogs despite an ongoing police investigation into his involvement in a nightclub brawl.
The Daily Telegraph revealed that the NRL integrity unit had been alerted to an ACT police probe into a late-night brawl in the Canberra suburb of Civic involving six men.
Police have obtained CCTV footage of the fight but the integrity unit, unlike in previous cases, has made no attempt contact the nightclub or obtain film of the brawl.
Jack Wighton’s involvement is under scrutiny.
Wighton’s immediate future is under a cloud over allegations he was involved in the serious assault of up to three men in the week before the start of the season.
Wighton has been interviewed by detectives who are poised to press charges.
Wighton was out with a friend — not a footballer — when the pair became involved in an argument and then a fight with a group of four men.
An NRL spokesman confirmed the integrity unit had been alerted.
Raiders CEO Don Furner phoned integrity unit investigator Karen Murphy when the incident was alleged to have occurred.
It’s already a tough season for the Raiders. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
The integrity unit is monitoring the situation and waiting to see if charges will be laid.
This is a different approach to previous cases in which the NRL has carried out its own inquires.
The Raiders have had their worst start to a season since 1997 and a loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs this week would be their poorest start to a season since 1982.
The 25-year-old fullback has worn the green and gold for the Prime Minister’s XIII in 2015 and played 119 NRL games for the Raiders.
The allegations have angered coach Ricky Stuart, who has mentored Wighton since became Raiders coach in 2014.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is close to Wighton. (AAP Image/Your Name)
The Raiders issued a brief statement after The Daily Telegraph broke the story.
The Canberra Raiders are aware of an incident involving Jack Wighton and have been co-operating with ACT Policing on their investigation,” the statement said,
“The Raiders have notified the NRL Integrity unit and will be not making any further comment as the incident is an ongoing police investigation.”
ACT Police are refusing to comment on the case.
“We are aware of the statement made by the Canberra Raiders. ACT Policing cannot comment on individuals in relation to ongoing investigations.”
Wighton’s manager Paul Sutton did not return phone calls or text messages.
Not so sure Cleary would be looking at him. Paul Kent said on Fox yesterday that he thought charges and a suspension from the NRL were likely