The coronavirus pandemic could further push back NRL star Jack de Belin's rape trial with his scheduled court appearance this week adjourned for more than two months.
The St George Illawarra and NSW back-rower was set to appear at Wollongong District Court on Wednesday for pre-trial arguments.
De Belin and co-accused Callan Sinclair have pleaded not guilty to raping a 19-year-old woman inside a Wollongong apartment in December 2018.
De Belin's trial was scheduled to begin on February 3, but was initially delayed by legal argument.
Those legal arguments were adjourned when a critical witness fell ill and were set down for this week.
However, both his lawyers and the prosecution have agreed to adjourn the matter until June 22.
The courts have been hampered by the coronavirus and it decreases the likelihood of his case going to trial this year.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault in company and are facing a trial which is expected to last two weeks.
De Belin is in career limbo after being stood down by the NRL in February 2019 under its "no fault" stand down policy.
He sat out all of 2019 but was hopeful of returning to the field this year, if acquitted by the courts.
The NRL has suspended its competition due to the coronavirus and is targeting a June 1 resumption.
De Belin is off-contract with the Dragons at the end of the 2020 season.
Australian Associated Press