News Coronavirus NRL probing Shark’s alleged lockdown violation

NRL probing Shark’s alleged lockdown violation

Josh Dugan is being investigated after police twice stopped his car. Photo: Getty
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The NRL is investigating claims Josh Dugan breached the public health order after the Cronulla centre was allegedly pulled over in Lithgow on Friday night.

A police report said a 31-year-old man and his passenger were stopped twice in NSW’s central tablelands after being told to return to Sydney.

Integrity unit officials spent Saturday morning speaking to both NSW Police and the Sharks after being informed of the situation.

Dugan is not part of Cronulla’s Queensland hub, but is still under level-four restrictions from the NRL which limit him to only leaving home for training and essential needs.

NSW Police claim health orders were breached with the individual leaving Sydney, before being allegedly misled about the reasons for his travel.

“Officers from Chifley Police District were conducting patrols in Lithgow when they stopped a Jeep Cherokee at about 11.30pm yesterday (Friday),” NSW Police said.

Weekend getaway

“Police spoke to the driver, a 31-year-old man, and his passenger, a man aged 30.

“The men allegedly weren’t wearing masks and checks revealed they were from Gymea and Alexandria.

“The driver allegedly told police they were moving to the area and were going to feed animals, however later admitted they were heading to a friend’s house for the weekend.

“They were directed to return home. About 40 minutes later, officers detected the same vehicle travelling away from Sydney towards Yetholme.”

Police said the men were again directed to return home and warned charges were expected to be laid.

Dugan’s NRL future remains uncertain with the former NSW State of Origin star off contract at Cronulla and not expected to be re-signed.

The 31-year-old has not played since round 11 and there is every chance the Sharks’ win over St George Illawarra that night could have been his last NRL game.

In trouble before

Dugan was already fined $25,000 by the NRL in June for another breach of the game’s biosecurity laws when he attended a restaurant.

At the time that was not against public health orders.

The NRL has confirmed they are aware of the most recent incident.

“The integrity unit is aware of the matter and is liaising with NSW Police and the club,” an NRL spokesman said.

Meanwhile the Sharks confirmed on Saturday that former St George Illawarra coach Steve Price would return to Cronulla as an assistant.

Price was part of Shane Flanagan’s staff for the club’s maiden premiership in 2016, before moving to coach Warrington in the Super League.

The move completes Craig Fitzgibbon’s coaching team for next year, alongside current caretaker Josh Hannay and assistant Daniel Holdsworth.

“I thought Steve’s experience in the NRL and in the Super League as a head coach, added to the fact he was an assistant in the 2016 Sharks premiership, would be an asset,” Fitzgibbon said.