The Newcastle Knights have sacked Russell Packer this week, after the forward was handed a two-year jail term for a drunken assault.

The club issued a statement on Monday stating that Packers' contract had been terminated immediately, with the former Warriors player found guilty of a drunken assault in Sydney last November and was given a two-year jail sentence.

Chief executive of the Knights Matt Gidley confirmed the inevitable: "There was never any doubt we would terminate Russell's employment following Monday's sentence however we had a process.

"As we stated from the beginning and when we stood Russell down, first and foremost it was a legal process. At our first opportunity to meet with Russell, we advised him in person of our decision."

The statement confirms the Knights will continue to honour the part of the contract that ensures the players wife and young children will settle into their new Newcastle home, after Packer's nearest and dearest last month.

Knights coach Wayne Bennet said it was difficult situation to deal with for all involved: "We had a responsibility to handle this situation in a manner mindful of his young family, the club, its sponsors, members and the community as a whole.”

The NRL has previously refused to put through the contract from the Knights until the incident had been investigated by their integrity unit.

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