St George Illawarra Dragons have been slammed by the NRL after a dozen of their players allegedly breached the code’s strict biosecurity protocol by attending a teammate’s barbecue during lockdown.
Paul Vaughan is at the centre of the allegations, with his Shellharbour home the party destination as police and the NRL’s Integrity Unit undertake separate investigations, the Daily Mail has reported.
Police have issued $1,000 infringement notices to 13 people, understood to be Vaughan, his wife Elle and 11 Dragons teammates: Corey Norman, Zac Lomax, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Kaide Ellis, Blake Lawrie, Matt Dufty, Daniel Alvaro, Tyrell Fuimaono, Gerard Beale and Josh Kerr.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo stressed that this kind of breach would not be tolerated.
‘I’m disappointed, to be honest I’m gutted. We’re all working hard to keep the game going so we expect more from the players,’ he told Fox Sports’ Big League Wrap on Sunday night.
“People make mistakes, sure, but there’s a lot at stake here. We’re going to work around the clock to complete the investigation, finalise it and then we’ll deal with the players hopefully.
“It’s no good having protocols if they’re not going to be adhered to so we’re going to continue working through the night to finalise this matter and deal with it.
“It’s a small group of players that are impacting a very, very large group of people.”
It’s also been circulated that St George could face a possible points deduction.