28-year-old Chris Sandow pleaded guilty to a charge of public nuisance and was fined $300 over a New Year's Day brawl in Cherbourg, Queensland, which was captured on video.
Magistrate Andrew Hackett said Sandow had the potential to be the next Johnathan Thurston, the Australian Test and Queensland State of Origin playmaker who is a respected and acclaimed Indigenous voice across the country.
"I think you are a leader, leaders lead - fighting is not leading," Mr Hackett said.
"Don't just play for yourself, it's what JT (Thurston) does."
But moments after the hearing, Sandow missed his first opportunity to speak out against violence. He refused to speak to journalists waiting outside the court and hid inside the court building for over half an hour.
He eventually left the building through a back door, then drove his black sedan past waiting reporters and cameras and honked his horn.
Sandow returned to Australia last year after quitting his English Super League club Warrington because he was homesick, with Wolves chief executive Tony Smith labelling him "a pain" following his departure.
He had previously played for Parramatta and South Sydney in the NRL after being let go by the Gold Coast Titans as a talented but ill-disciplined teenage player.