THE Newcastle Knights have disassociated themselves from rookie prop Paterika Vaivai, who was arrested in Brisbane on Monday morning for his alleged role in a brawl with police.
Vaivai, who played six NRL games for Newcastle in 2014 and 2015, was charged with one count of assaulting or obstructing police and one count of affray.
He will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 9.
Vaivai was one of five men arrested after what police described as an "out-of-control brawl" in Brisbane's West End.
Channel Seven reported that two police officers were recovering after they were victims of alleged "coward punch" attacks.
Vaivai last played in Newcastle's NRL team in a 36-22 loss in Canberra on July 10.
He did not feature for the Knights in their successful NSW Cup play-off campaign or the State Championship final against Ipswich.
Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said that despite a report on the club website last November that Vaivai had re-signed for two seasons, he was no longer their player.
"He was off contract at the end of this year," Gidley said. "We just opted not to renew his contract."
The Knights announced last year they had "re-signed emerging forwards Sam Mataora and Paterika Vaivai, on a three- and two-year contract respectively".
The report quoted then coach Rick Stone as saying: "We are pleased to secure our two starting NSW Cup props on long-term deals."
But, according to Vaivai's profile on his management company's website: "On November 1, 2014, Vaivai re-signed with the Knights on a one-year contract."
Gidley said the contract might have contained an option for a second season but "we just decided to go in a different direction".
He declined to elaborate when asked if this decision was purely based on Vaivai's on-field performances.
The 120-kilogram, Samoan-born prop had been linked to Canberra, but it is understood the Raiders lost interest when it became apparent they were a chance of signing former Melbourne Storm prop Jeff Lima, who has spent the past two seasons with Catalans Dragons in Super League.
Vaivai arrived in Newcastle via the Bay Roskill Vikings junior club in Auckland, signing to play National Youth Cup in 2012.
He made his NRL debut for Newcastle in the round-nine loss to Penrith in 2014, playing just nine minutes, and did not appear in first grade again that season.
He played in five games this year.