JARRYD Hayne's sexual assault trial will not commence next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead the former NRL star will face a trial in Newcastle District Court in November.
Hayne, now 32, had been scheduled to face a trial beginning May 4 relating to allegations he sexually assaulted a woman at a suburb in Newcastle on grand final night 2018.
But last month, the NSW District Court made a decision to suspended all new jury trials in line with the government's guidelines around social distancing in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus.
On Thursday, in Newcastle District Court Judge Roy Ellis said Hayne's matter could still proceed in May and could be heard by a judge-alone. Judge Ellis said there would not be enough time to organise a jury panel for May 4.
He also suggested the current suspension on the use of juries during trials because of the coronavirus crisis would likely be lifted in the coming weeks.
Hayne's barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, said he had considered a judge-alone trial "very carefully", but his client's preference was for a jury trial.
Mr Boulten said the Director of Public Prosecutions would have opposed a judge-alone trial.
The May 4 trial date was vacated and the matter was re-listed for trial on November 23.
The trial is expected to take 10 days.
Hayne's conditional bail was continued until November, with one variation - he no longer has to report to police.
Hayne is accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman at a suburb in Newcastle between 8pm and 10pm on September 30, 2018.
Court documents state Hayne had sex with the woman without her consent and "recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm".
The charges carry a maximum 20-year jail term if Hayne is convicted.