The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued Brisbane Broncos players Payne Haas and Albert Kelly with Breach Notices alleging they brought the game into disrepute following a public incident in Sydney on 20 March.
Both players are alleged to have engaged in a physical altercation at a public venue which brought the game into disrepute.
The Notices propose that Haas be suspended for 1 match and fined $10,000. In considering the proposed penalty, the NRL has taken into account previous transgressions and his status as a senior player in the game.
It is proposed that Kelly be suspended for 1 match and fined $5000.
Both players have 5 business days to respond to the Breach Notices.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters insists that Haas will not be sacked by the club with this his third unsavoury incident in his Broncos career.
“We support Payne 100 per cent,” Walters said.
“We love what he does on the field and he is working hard on himself off the field.
“I’m disappointed it happened. I wasn’t pissed off because I know what blokes are like. I’ve been living in this world for a long time, things can happen.
“It’s just an incident and those two boys are remorseful for their actions.
“I don’t think Payne did a whole lot wrong. He was trying to do the right thing by his teammate who stepped out of line.
“He tried to calm the situation.”
It is understood the clash between the pair broke out as Broncos players celebrated the birthday of Kelly, who turned 31 the day after Brisbane’s round 2 defeat of the Bulldogs in Sydney on Sunday, March 20.
But Haas turned on Kelly, calling him a “f***ing c***” before unleashing a left jab which connected with Kelly, who was heavily intoxicated.
It appears the clash was sparked by Kelly stepping on Haas’ foot, with the five-eighth saying: “Why would I step on your shoes.”