News Coronavirus NRL Dragons players probed over alleged party breach of COVID stay-at-home order

NRL Dragons players probed over alleged party breach of COVID stay-at-home order

Like all league teams the Dragons are allowed to get close and personal on the field - but not off it. Photo: Getty
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The NRL and NSW Police are investigating around a dozen St George Illawarra players who broke stay-at-home orders to attend a party at forward Paul Vaughan’s house.

The Dragons confirmed that some players were under investigation, with the number who attended the party in Shellharbour on Saturday believed to be between 10 and 15.

The NRL and police were speaking to those in attendance on Sunday morning.

Any party would have been a clear breach of not only NSW law, but also the game’s bubble.

Key in the NRL’s investigation is whether any visitors to the house were not part of the Dragons’ bubble, given that would make for a NRL biosecurity issue and force a two-week isolation period.

At this stage it is believed that was not the case, but the players may still face fines and bans.

The incident is particularly badly timed, as the NRL is in negotiations with state governments, seeking access across closed borders to allow the competition to continue.

“The integrity unit is speaking with the club and the players involved,” an NRL spokesman said.

“The NRL will follow the advice of the game’s biosecurity experts.”
Cronulla veteran Josh Dugan was last week hit with a $25,000 fine and two weeks isolation for attending a Sydney restaurant after the NRL’s bubble was put in place.

It marks the second time Vaughan has found himself under investigation for a biosecurity breach after missing two games for visiting a cafe last year.

“St George Illawarra are aware of a NSW state government stay-at-home order and NRL biosecurity breach involving a number of players,” the club said in a statement.

“The Dragons will not make comment at this time, while the investigation into the matter with the NRL Integrity Unit and NSW Police continues.”