Two high-profile NRL players have come under fire after appearing to ignore social distancing instructions to attend a weekend away in NSW.
7 News reports both the NRL and NSW Police are investigating the trip after Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr shared group photos on Instagram.
The pics show Addo-Carr and Rabbitohs superstar Latrell Mitchell enjoying a camping getaway near Mitchell’s hometown of Taree.
The group photo has since been deleted from the NSW Origin star’s social media account.
“Blackfulla adventures Camping with the brothers on @iam_lm01 (Latrell Mitchell’s) property biripi country, throwing the bikes around & hunting, I’m next to buy a big property I think,” he wrote on the image.
NSW Police has reportedly revealed it will investigate the camping trip after discovering potential social distancing breaches through reports.
“I’ve seen the same reports in the media, of course police haven’t been backwards at all in taking complaints, commencing investigations and taking the appropriate action,” NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Monday.
“So at this point in time we will wait and see in the fullness of time about where we go with that matter.
“The matter will be investigated, what action is taken will obviously fall out of that investigation,” Worboys said enquiries will be made about the matter by the local police commander in the Taree region.
“I have spoken this morning to the region commander at northern (Norther Region Police) and he will make himself aware of what’s on the back page of the paper and make some enquiries,” Worboys said.
Senior NRL reporter Phil Rothfield revealed the players could be suspended by the NRL for the breach.
“We’ve still got selfish people like footballers camping while everyone else is in lockdown,” Rothfield told Big Sports Breakfast.
“It’s disappointing more than anything else that everyone else is facing sacrifices.
“There are so many jobs on the line — the whole competition depends on these players dodging coronavirus and staying fit and healthy.”
Meanwhile, Storm CEO Dave Donaghy told The Daily Telegraph he can’t speak further on the images as players have been away from the club for weeks.
“I wasn’t aware of this photo,” he said.
“I’ve not spoken to Josh for a while. I can’t provide any context to it.
“Our players have been absent from the club since the season was suspended late last month, but when they are back on deck for the recommencement of the season they’ll be fully briefed regarding the protocols being implemented by the NRL and clubs.”
Interestingly, they were posted to social media on the same day the league introduced strict new biosecurity measures for players.
The NRL has warned that any breach of the health and safety measures will carry strict penalties, which is understood to include loss of competition points and fines.
Officials have threatened teams with the loss of points and heavy fines if any players break the rules.
The NRL is also looking at appointing an independent “spy” to make sure teams are abiding by protocols.