An NRL star has admitted to breaching COVID-19 rules to eat breakfast at a cafe where it’s being alleged he also used a fake name.
St George Illawarra Dragons player Paul Vaughan, 29, admitted to entering a Wollongong cafe for breakfast on Thursday, a breach of the NRL’s COVID-19 protocols, but denied using a fake name to avoid detection.
Under the NRL’s strict biosecurity rules, players and those within the bubble are not allowed to have visitors or go to cafes, pubs or restaurants.
Vaughan is likely to be stood down for Thursday night’s match against the Sydney Roosters and will be required to self-isolate.
St George Illawarra released a statement on Thursday confirming Vaughan had been caught breaching the competition’s COVID-19 rules.
‘The Dragons are disappointed with Vaughan’s conduct and are working with the NRL and Project Apollo to determine his availability for the Dragons’ Round 13 clash against the Sydney Roosters,’ the statement read.
There is also a possibility Vaughan could be forced to quarantine for anywhere up to a fortnight.
The announcement came on the same morning South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett admitted to also dining out, which threatens to stop him from coaching on Friday.
‘I went for lunch yesterday at Grappa, I did. I didn’t think it was a breach,’ Bennett said after a training session.
‘If I knew it was a breach I wouldn’t have done it. I went with my partner who I live with, had some lunch and that was it.’
‘I go shopping, I go different places to get meals at times. It was just me and my partner.’
Bennett said he would accept any sanctions the NRL might hand down for breaching the biosecurity rules.
He said restrictions had changed so frequently it had become hard to know what was right and what was wrong.