The NRL is reportedly investigating a potential COVID-19 breach after four players were spotted at Wednesday evening’s fight between Tim Tszyu and Dennis Hogan in Newcastle.
To deal with the fallout from Queensland’s recent coronavirus outbreak, all 16 NRL clubs were told they must enter Stage 2 COVID protocols this week.
Under the new protocols, players are prohibited from catching public transport and wearing masks while in a public indoor venue.
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The Daily Telegraph’s Michael Carayannis reported the NRL sent an email to clubs on Wednesday specifically warning players against attending the blockbuster fight.
Tim Tszyu punches Dennis Hogan.Source:Getty Images
But according to the report, Wests Tigers centre James Roberts, Parramatta Eels utility Will Smith and South Sydney Rabbitohs duo Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell attended the event regardless.
As part of Tszyu’s entourage, Walker and Mitchell were given special dispensation from the NRL, provided they wore masks and adhered to coronavirus protocols.
However, Roberts was spotted on the event’s broadcast among the general public not wearing a mask, and did not seek an exemption with the NRL to attend the fight.
The NRL has subsequently asked for a please explain on Thursday, while the Eels are seeking further information about Smith.
James Roberts of the Tigers.Source:Getty Images
Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker ringside.Source:News Corp Australia
The Tigers will face Parramatta at Stadium Australia on Monday afternoon, with Roberts named in the side’s starting 13.
As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, several Newcastle Knights players and coach Adam O’Brien were due to attend the fight as well, but abandoned plans after the NRL’s new restrictions were introduced.
Last season, players were heavily sanctioned when they breached biosecurity protocols — Mitchell and Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr were fined $50,000 for a camping trip, while Penrith playmaker Nathan Cleary copped a two-week suspension for the infamous TikTok saga.
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