The NRL has suspended four players and handed out more than $ 50,000 in fines following a series of off-field dramas that cast a shadow over the final week of the season.
Melbourne players Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis received a violation notice following the gunpowder scandal that hit the Storm last week. He proposes to ban each of the Storm players during a game.
Reece Walsh of New Zealand has also been sanctioned for discrediting the game, after he was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine on the Gold Coast. Walsh has been suspended with a two-game suspension.
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“I understand that the players have endured a long season under strict protocols,” said NRL chief Andrew Abdo.
“However, there is no excuse for the behavior we have seen over the past week. The players have brought themselves, their clubs and the rugby league community down.
“These sanctions are designed to include an element of rehabilitation and development, as well as having consequences for the individual and the team.”
The non-compliance notices propose a $ 30,000 fine for Munster, while Smith has been fined $ 15,000 and Lewis $ 4,000, with each player missing the 2022 prime minister’s opening game.
Walsh has been fined $ 5,000 and suspended for two games.
All four players will have to complete education and training as per the NRL’s instructions, while the Melbourne Storm trio will also be fined by their club later today.
Storm legend Cameron Smith last week described the Melbourne trio’s actions as “mind-blowing.”
“These guys know the rules. It’s illegal in society and in the rugby league game,” Smith told SEN radio.
“I would like to think that they are smarter than the way they have acted.
“Allowing outsiders to come into a room and have phones filming … it’s amazing to see these guys make these bad decisions.”
MORE TO COME.
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