Former Canterbury Bulldogs player Corey Harawira-Naera’s attempts to rebuild his NRL career have been dealt a fresh blow after he was charged with high-range drink driving.
Harawira-Naera was signed by the Canberra Raiders after he was let go by the Bulldogs in the wake of his and former teammate Jayden Okunbor’s alleged schoolgirl sex scandal in early 2020.
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However the 25-year-old’s hopes of an NRL return with the Raiders have been dented after he was caught drink driving by ACT Police on Christmas Eve.
Raiders teammate Corey Horsburgh has also been charged over a separate drink driving incident on January 3, with both players awaiting court dates.
RAIDERS STATEMENT: Canberra can confirm Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh were involved in separate incidents during the Christmas holiday period.Both incidents were reported to NRL Integrity unit at the time and the club continues to keep them informed of developments.
— Dean Ritchie (@BulldogRitchie) February 2, 2021
The club confirmed the pair were waiting to appear in court via a statement published on their website.
"The Canberra Raiders can confirm that both Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh were involved in separate incidents during the Christmas holiday period," the statement read.
"Both incidents were reported directly to the NRL Integrity unit at the time and the club continues to keep them informed of any developments.
"As both issues are still pending court matters, the club will not be making further comment."
Club Statement: Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh. https://t.co/CErxZPi8QB
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) February 2, 2021
The NRL Integrity Unit also confirmed it had been informed of the charges against both players.
“The Canberra Raiders advised the Integrity Unit of the alleged offences and the Integrity Unit is awaiting further information from police," an NRL spokesperson said.
Canberra Raiders privately fuming over Harawira-Naera
Harawira-Naera was signed by the Raiders after successfully overturning his de-registration from the NRL in July last year.
The 25-year-old was reportedly unhappy with the Bulldogs’ support for his de-registration, paving the way for his move to Canberra.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is reportedly extremely unhappy at the news of both players’ charges, with Harawira-Naera set to compete with Hudson Young for the outside edge spot vacated by John Bateman.
The highly rated duo of Harawira-Naera and Horsburgh look set to face fines or even a suspension from the NRL pending the integrity unit's findings, while the club is also likely to dish out a punishment.
It comes after Brisbane star Kotoni Staggs has been issued with a breach notice by the NRL's integrity unit after a run-in with a man sparked a pub brawl last year.
The 2020 Dally M centre of the year was alleged to have verbally provoked the altercation that left a man with minor head injuries in Dubbo in November.
Staggs was not charged by police, but two friends pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm.
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