Dogs recall COVID five for Roosters clash

·2-min read

Five Canterbury players who breached the NRL bubble to attend a hotel in Bondi have been named to return this week after being asked to front the board over code of conduct breaches.

Dylan Napa, Brandon Wakeham, Corey Waddell, Aaron Schoupp and Sione Katoa were all fined by the NRL and on Tuesday were hit with further punishment from the club.

Ex-Origin prop Napa is alleged to have missed training the following day after a night of drinking at the pub late last month, while the others joined their teammates for the scheduled recovery session.

The Bondi venue was also attended by a confirmed COVID-19 case, putting all five players into a mandatory 14-day isolation as close contacts.

Their outing breached the NRL's COVID-19 protocols and the Canterbury club was also hit with a $50,000 breach notice for allegedly failing to effectively communicate those responsibilities to players.

The five players missed last weekend's 66-0 loss to Manly, but have been rushed into the depleted side to face Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.

"We're disappointed in that result, we've got a few boys back this week after the COVID stuff so we just need to put that behind us," Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson said.

"It unsettled us having so many new faces in different positions, we're trying to build combinations and when you have players out it did affect us a little bit.

"But there's no excuses, we needed to be better as a team and we've addressed that a bit this week.

"They've been back in at training today

"(The five players) apologised that they weren't available to help the team out and all the lads feel a bit sorry they weren't there on the weekend as well.

"It's done now, we're putting it behind us and we have to focus on the Roosters."

The Bulldogs will be without Jeremy Marshall-King and Ava Seumanufagai for Saturday's clash with the Roosters after both accepted a suspension from last week's loss.

Elsewhere, Canberra have copped another blow with Bailey Simonsson to miss four to six weeks with a toe injury.

Englishman Elliott Whitehead will also miss Thursday night's clash with Manly because of a minor shoulder injury and a nasty face cut.

Meanwhile, ex-Brisbane prop Matt Lodge has been named to make his debut for the Warriors against Cronulla on Sunday.

Electric fullback Reece Walsh is also set for a return for the Warriors after suffering a hamstring injury in Queensland's captain's run before State of Origin II.

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