Brisbane Broncos star Tevita Pangai Jr will miss the rest of the 2020 NRL season and be on probation for the next year after meeting with club bosses last week.
Pangai Jr was at risk of having his contract with the Broncos torn up after he was stood down indefinitely and fined $30,000 by the NRL for breaching the league and the team’s coronavirus protocols earlier this year.
Three weeks ago he was placed on a 14-day COVID-19 hold, meaning he had to isolate from the rest of the Broncos team and staff, because he left the team’s biosecurity bubble to go to the opening of a friend’s barbershop.
He admitted to the NRL’s integrity unit and in public it was not the only time he had breached the biosecurity protocols put in place to allow the NRL to return to play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were rumours Pangai Jr would be axed immediately, prompting threats of legal action from the Tongan star for breach of contract by the club.
— Brisbane Broncos (@brisbanebroncos) August 31, 2020
Instead, Pangai Jr has been stood down without pay for the rest of the year and officially removed from the Broncos’ bubble.
His employment can now be terminated at any time over the next 12 months if he does not follow a series of strict rules.
Pangai Jr has to:
- Immediately begin a 12-month mentoring program with a club-approved mentor who will report back to the team every month
- Work in a job organised by that mentor for the rest of the 2020 season
- Stop using social media and only speak to traditional media with the club’s express permission
- Report back for the 2021 pre-season in mid-November “in good condition”.
At a show cause hearing held last Friday, Pangai Jr apologised to everyone connected to the club, the Brisbane Broncos said in a statement issued on Monday.
“It was also acknowledged that the recent course of behaviour he displayed leading to this breach was not indicative of his past behaviour, and the board took that into consideration,” the club said.