Tevita Pangai Jr will be forced to spend 14 days in self-isolation after the Brisbane forward became the latest NRL figure to breach the code’s virus bubble.
Pangai played in Sydney on Friday night as the Broncos slumped to their 10th NRL defeat in 11 matches with a 28-10 loss to South Sydney.
‘TRUTH HURTS’: Partner's fury over Wayne Bennett virus breach
Under the competition's protocols, members of a team which has returned to Queensland from NSW are to enter a strict lockdown for a 14-day period.
However the Broncos said Pangai Jr attended the opening of a Brisbane barber shop on Saturday, in breach of those stricter protocols.
It’s been reported Pangai Jr’s presence was discovered during a police raid of the business, with several alleged bikie gang members suspected of being at the property.
While there's no suggestion Pangai Jr was involved in illegal activity the Broncos are looking into the situation.
“The Broncos are investigating the circumstances around the matter to determine what further action may be taken,” the club said in a statement on Sunday.
The 24-year-old has been stood down for two weeks and charged with a breach of the competition's protocols.
As a result, the Tonga international will be unavailable for Saturday's clash with Canberra and the following weekend's game against St George Illawarra for the second-last Broncos.
Pangai adds to woeful week for NRL
He’s the latest NRL identity caught breaching the protocols this week after Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett, Dragons forward Paul Vaughan and three Broncos staff members, including ex-Test player Allan Langer, were all fined for breaches.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is also serving a 14-day isolation period after he opted to stay in Sydney for a family matter with assistant coach Peter Gentle to lead the team for the next two weeks.
The Broncos announced on Saturday that coach Seibold could not fly back with the team to Brisbane on Saturday and will therefore be forced to quarantine.
“Anthony is dealing with a serious family matter and could not fly back to Brisbane with the team after the Rabbitohs game last night,” CEO Paul White said.
“He expects to be able to return to Brisbane within 48 hours but in line with COVID regulations he will need to self-isolate for 14 days once he is back in Queensland.
“Anthony will return to the Broncos after that. Assistant Coach Peter Gentle will coach the team in Anthony’s absence.
“We are working with Anthony to give him all the support he and his family need at this time, and we ask media to respect his privacy.”
Channel 7 reporter Chris Garry had earlier reported that Seibold had broken the NRL’s quarantine bubble to attend a “family emergency.”
“He was called late last night for a family issue that is sad and much bigger than football,” Garry wrote on Saturday.
“He will be barred from coaching team for a fortnight as he isolates.”