NRL rejects Michael Jennings 300th game celebration as ‘Past conduct’ criticisms mount


The NRL has decided not to honour Michael Jennings’ 300-game milestone with traditional celebrations due to the Sydney Roosters centre’s past off-field incidents.

Jennings, 36, is set to become the 51st player to reach the coveted milestone when the injury-plagued Roosters bring him into the starting side for Thursday’s clash with Newcastle.

Ordinarily, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo would present a player reaching their 300th game with the game ball before kick-off.

A media release is also circulated in which league officials pay tribute to the player, and at the ground the 30-metre line is replaced with “300” as a nod to the achievement.

But the NRL confirmed to AAP on Monday that celebrations had been scrapped.

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

Jennings received a three-year ban from the NRL after returning a positive drug test during Parramatta’s 2020 finals tilt.

Jennings pleaded guilty in 2021 to cut his suspension down from four years, but maintained he did not intentionally take the banned performance-enhancing substances Ligandrol and Ibutamoren.

In the years since, Jennings has found himself entangled in a legal battle with his ex-wife, who accused the NRL player of raping her multiple times during their marriage.

As of November 2023, Jennings had yet to pay his victim the nearly $500,000 ordered at the conclusion of the civil dispute in the NSW District Court.

Lawyers for Jennings’ ex-wife Kirra Wilden declined to comment when AAP reached out seeking confirmation as to any payment plan set up by the NRL player. 

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