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Burgess granted leave by NRL’s Dragons

St George Illawarra have granted recent recruit George Burgess personal leave from the club.

The Dragons have not publicly put a time frame on the front-rower’s return but said his leave did not relate to his ongoing criminal matter.

In March, Burgess was arrested and charged with sexually touching a woman without consent. He has pleaded not guilty and will face a hearing at a later date.

Burgess remains eligible for NRL selection despite the charge and made the most recent of his four appearances for the Dragons in round eight.

The 30-year-old signed with the Dragons this season and became the first professional rugby league player to return to play from hip resurfacing surgery, which he underwent last year.

He is contracted with the Dragons until the end of next season.

The Dragons declined to comment further on the matter when contacted by AAP.

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