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NRL players fined, escape calls for bans, over social distancing failures


The four NRL players caught breaching social distancing guidelines will avoid immediate bans with South Sydney’s Latrell Mitchell and Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr both fined $20,000.

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The NRL confirmed on Tuesday that Mitchell, Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Tyronne Roberts-Davis would only have a one-game suspended ban for weekend incidents.

Penrith superstar Cleary and Newcastle fringe player Roberts-Davis will also be fined $4000 as part of the sanctions.

Former Penrith supremo Phil Gould had earlier called for his Panthers star  Cleary to be banned for the season as the NRL investigates whether he broke social distancing laws.

Cleary came under scrutiny after Penrith forwarded images to the NRL on Tuesday morning of him alongside five women on Anzac Day.

It has left the NSW State of Origin halfback as the latest player be under the spotlight of coronavirus regulations, as the NRL tries desperately to restart their season..

South Sydney’s Mitchell and Melbourne’s Addo-Carr were both fined $1000 by NSW Police on Monday for flouting social distancing laws on a mid-north coast property.

Gould had already called for both those players to be banned for the season, and said he made no exception for Penrith’s marquee man and the player he’d help develop since he was 18.

“No excuse. Serious breach … For mine, blanket penalties should apply,” Gould tweeted.

“What I do know is that the more instances made public, the less likely it will be that Govt will permit a restart of competition.

“The players were warned. They were given strict guidelines.

“They have caused a huge issue for the code. Huge ramifications for their future careers.”

In the images broadcast by Nine, Cleary is seen sitting on a couch alongside the women, with one laying across him.

According to the network, the star NSW halfback contacted his Panthers teammates and club officials to apologise and take full responsibility.

Nine said Clearly claimed the women were friends who had come to his house on ANZAC Day briefly before departing.

NSW government rules implemented recently during the coronavirus pandemic have restricted house visits.

However, those will be eased from Friday when a maximum of two adults – and there children if they have any – will be permitted to visit another household.

Cleary is Penrith’s biggest name player and the son of coach Ivan.

He was re-signed by Gould on a multi-million dollar deal in 2018 that will keep him at the club until at least 2024.


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