Sydney: South Sydney`s grand final-winning centre Kirisome Auva`a has been suspended for most of next season`s premiership over a domestic violence conviction, Australia`s National Rugby League said on Thursday.
The NRL said Auva`a would not be allowed to return to the game "until he has demonstrated behavioural change designed to prevent the recurrence of violent behaviour toward women".
Last week Auva`a was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
The NRL said it will not consider an application from Auva`a to have his suspension lifted for at least nine months.
It means Auva`a will miss the World Club Series, the Auckland Nines and at least 22 rounds of the 2015 NRL Premiership for his South Sydney club.
NRL CEO Dave Smith said if Auva`a re-offended he would be banned from the game permanently.
"Let me make it clear, we abhor violence against women and it will not be tolerated in our game," Smith said in a statement.
"Everyone needs to understand that if you are violent against women there is no place for you in Rugby League.
"We recognise that we also have a duty to help with rehabilitation where incidents occur and that is why it will be a condition of his return that Kirisome completes appropriate prevention treatment."
The South Sydney club said it supported the stance taken by the NRL.
"We will work closely with Kirisome on his rehabilitation, as we have since the incident occurred," Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said in a statement.
"Kirisome has now received punishments from three different bodies and we will continue our duties to ensure he is educated and supported so as to never commit an offence like this again."
Auva`a pleaded guilty to drunkenly attacking his ex-girlfriend.
In evidence tendered in court Auva`a pushed the woman to the floor and punched holes into the wall of her home, before grabbing her arms and slinging her into a wall.
Auva`a was fined Aus$3,000 (US$2,600) when he appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court last week.
South Sydney also fined him Aus$2,000 and banned him for a week from off-season training.