April 27, 2020 13:13:57
NSW Police are investigating three rugby league stars for alleged breaches of the state’s coronavirus social-distancing lockdown, after images emerged of them on a weekend away with around 10 other men.
- One of the players posted video of the alleged trip to social media
- The NRL said the footage was “disappointing and unacceptable”
- Police can issue $1,000 fines for any breach of coronavirus restrictions
Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr and the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s fullback Latrell Mitchell appeared to spend the weekend on a group camping getaway at Mitchell’s property on the state’s Mid-North Coast.
Addo-Carr posted photos and videos to his Instagram account showing the group huddled around a fire, shooting guns and riding dirt bikes in bush and on the beach at South West Rocks.
NSW’s coronavirus social-distancing laws prevent non-essential travel and gatherings of people who do not already live together.
If found to have broken the laws, the people on Mitchell’s property will likely face on-the-spot fines of $1,000.
“Blackfulla adventures Camping with the brothers on @iam_lm01 property biripi country, throwing the bikes around & hunting, I’m next to buy a big property I think,” Addo-Carr wrote on Instagram.
He has since deleted the footage from his page.
Newcastle Knights squad member Tyronne Roberts-Davis was not in the photos around the camp but got sprung in another image posted of the group dirt biking.
In a statement issued this morning, the NRL said the photos were “disappointing and unacceptable”.
“The NRL will be speaking to the players involved to seek further information and we will ensure the players provide any assistance authorities require,” the statement read.
“We support the Government in any action they believe necessary.”
The maximum penalty for breaking NSW’s social-distancing laws is $11,000 or six months in prison.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the incident would be investigated.
“I have spoken this morning with the region commander,” he said.
“Police haven’t been backward at all in taking complaints, commencing investigations and taking the appropriate action.”
Following confirmation that the NRL would restart on May 28, Australian Rugby League Commissioner Wayne Pearce yesterday said players who did not follow health restrictions would face penalties.
“We won’t be compromising on what the standards of behaviour and the actions that are going to be required,” he said.
The NRL said players would be taking part in an education program on the Government health orders.
“When training resumes our players and officials must comply with biosecurity protocols that go further than current government restrictions,” a spokesperson said.
The NRL has been pushing for weeks to get back to playing, putting it at odds with government and public health authorities.
South Sydney said the club would ensure Mitchell provided any assistance authorities required as part of their investigations.
Melbourne said it expected players to act as role models and support community measures taken to eradicate COVID-19.
April 27, 2020 11:22:00