Dragons name Burgess, Cleary on Penrith bench

“Issues only become as big as you let them [become],” Mbye told the Herald. “For us, it’s none of our business. We don’t know what has happened with George, we can’t even comment on it.

Nathan Cleary has been named on Penrith’s extended bench.

Nathan Cleary has been named on Penrith’s extended bench.

“All we can control is what we can do, and that’s prepare for Cronulla and to get that right. You need to have the right group, right management and coaching staff and leadership at the club, and we’ve got that.

“There have been a few off-field issues at the club in the past, it’s a shame, but the club have managed it really well. It’s also a new group this year and a lot of guys who weren’t exposed to last year.”

Burgess presented himself to Mascot Police Station on Monday afternoon with his lawyer, and was charged at 4.40pm over an incident with a woman known to him that was alleged to have occurred on March 8. He was granted conditional bail and appear in Downing Centre Local Court on April 13.

The Englishman told the club he would deny the allegations.

Burgess only returned to the NRL for the first time in 910 days last Thursday after under-going hip resurfacing surgery.

Mbye said the players had no idea the news was about to drop at the start of the week, adding that Burgess, 29, had been nothing but impressive with his work ethic over the summer.

“George has been unbelievable – he’s come in with a really good attitude and hasn’t missed a beat,” Mbye said.

“He’s come back from an injury that threatened to end his career to play his 150th game last week, which is an achievement in itself.”

Cleary named for Penrith road trip

Meanwhile, Nathan Cleary has been named in the extended squad for Penrith’s road trip to Bathurst to play against Newcastle.

Cleary has been named on an extended bench for the Panthers, despite coach Ivan Cleary saying after last Friday’s 20-16 win over the Dragons his son would not return this week.

Cleary continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery, and his inclusion in the reserves will keep the undefeated Knights guessing.

The Panthers have listed Jarome Luai and Sean O’Sullivan in the halves, with Taylan May named on the wing for the injured Brian To’o.

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