A HALIFAX RLFC player has been accused of fraud involving almost £40,000.
Michael Ratu, 23, is accused of dishonestly making a false representation by claiming he was the genuine buyer of an Audi Q7 and would keep up payments on it.
Prosecutor Adrianne Harris told Carlisle magistrates Ratu had gambling debts and bought the car on hire purchase then sold it to pay off some of the money owed.
No plea was entered and the case was adjourned until October 7.
On that day, Ratu, who gave a Bolton address, is expected to appear in court for committal.
He is contracted to Halifax RLFC but has been out injured with a broken arm. He has not been seen at the club in recent weeks.
Ratu played for Fiji in the 2009 Pacific Cup. He has also played for Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers. It is his second spell at Halifax.