Sacked NRL player Russell Packer has been refused bail, after a court heard he may seek to withdraw his guilty plea over a drunken assault which has seen him jailed for two years.
The Newcastle recruit was left stunned on January 6, when he received a two-year fixed jail term for punching a man several times and then stomping on his face in Sydney's CBD in November last year.
The 24-year-old had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
But during a bail application on Thursday, Packer told the Downing Centre District Court that his victim had actually punched him first.
"The other man stood up into my face and he punched me in the left side of my mouth," he told the court.
He added that he had pleaded guilty because "that was the advice that I had been given. The legal team I sought said that was my only option."
Packer later added that he had told Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett about the altercation and of how he had been punched during the attack.
In light of this, the 24-year-old's new barrister George Thomas said they were expecting to lodge an application to withdraw his guilty plea next week.
Mr Thomas said Packer had a long history of alcohol abuse for which he needed to receive immediate treatment at a residential rehabilitation program.
Packer told the court he had been in segregation during his first two weeks in jail and had not received treatment for his addiction.
"I asked the people at the jail but they said you have to be there for a while before any of that stuff happens," he said.
He offered to put forward $150,000 as security for bail, which was refused by Judge Helen Syme.
She noted Packer was due to come before the court next month for an appeal against the severity of his sentence.
In sentencing Packer earlier this month, magistrate Greg Grogan said Packer was kicked out of the Chambers Hotel in Sydney's Martin Place at 1.30am on November because he was too drunk.
While in Martin Place, the 112-kilogram prop argued with another man after being accused of stealing cigarettes from a woman sitting nearby.
Packer punched the man in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground.
The former NRL player then punched him several more times before stomping or kicking him in the head.
Days after the sentence was handed down, the Newcastle Knights issued a statement saying Packer had been formally advised his contract had been terminated.
Packer played 110 NRL games in six seasons for the New Zealand Warriors and two Tests for the Kiwis before being recruited by Newcastle for the 2014 season.