Police investigate 'up to 10 players' in fresh Broncos scandal

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Brisbane Broncos players in a huddle during a match.
Up to 10 Brisbane Broncos players are being investigated by police over an alleged COVID-19 breach. Pic: Getty

The embattled Brisbane Broncos have been plunged further into turmoil, with reports up to 10 players are being investigated by the police over an alleged COVID-19 breach.

Already dealing with the fallout from Tevita Pangai Jr's barber shop bubble breach and coach Anthony Seibold's legal threat over vile accusations about his personal life, the Broncos' season from hell has hit a new low.

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On Wednesday, The Courier Mail revealed that police were investigating reports as many as 10 players were seen socialising at a Queensland hotel, in contravention of the NRL's strict biosecurity measures and an agreement with Queensland Health.

Witnesses claim seeing the group of Broncos players - including Pangai Jr - at the Everton Park Hotel last month.

It's understood Queensland police and the NRL are looking into the incident, in which 10 players enjoyed a pub steak on July 28, in breach of the league's strict coronavirus protocols.

Pictured here, the Brisbane hotel at the centre of a police investigation.
Witnesses claim to have seen the group of Broncos players at the Everton Park Hotel. Pic: Booking.com

It follows a separate COVID-19 breach on Saturday by Pangai Jnr, and another that saw Brisbane great and current trainer Allan Langer among three staff stood down after attending a private function at the Caxton Hotel.

It is understood the group of 10 players lunched with the understanding they were not breaking protocols under what were relaxed Apollo rules at the time.

Rules allow players in Queensland teams when they haven't played a Sydney team in the last 14 days to dine at cafes and restaurants, but not attend pubs.

However, restaurants within pubs are permissible, as long as they remain within that area and seated at a table within their own.

The latest alleged breach from Brisbane comes after a recent warning from ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys and Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young that any more indiscretions put the whole season in jeopardy.

The latest scandal follows reports Brisbane are set to tear up Pangai Jr's $650,000 per season contract in the wake of his latest off-field indiscretion.

Brisbane reportedly tear up star’s contract

The troublesome 24-year-old has two-and-a-half years left on his deal but his quarantine bubble breach appears to be the final straw for the Broncos' board.

The Tongan international attended the opening of a barber shop in Brisbane on Saturday which was raided by Queensland Police and has ties to the Mongols motorcycle group.

It was the day after their loss to Souths, and under current restrictions, players returning to Queensland from NSW need to isolate for 14 days, attending only training or games.

Pangai Jr's ill discipline has been a thorn for the club for more than a year, during which time he has spent 12 weeks out because of suspensions.

Earlier this season he copped his fourth suspension of the past year and spent a month on the sidelines for a dangerous tackle.

He is also believed to have shopped himself to rivals Sydney Roosters last week looking for a way out of the club, which has further angered the Broncos' board.

Seen here, Tevita Pangai Jr is reportedly set to be axed by Brisbane.
Tevita Pangai Jr has found himself in hot water after breaching the NRL's biosecurity protocols. Pic: AAP

Friday's 28-10 loss to South Sydney looks set to be his final NRL game of the season given the August 3 deadline for clubs to finalise their rosters has passed.

It's a huge call for the Broncos considering they are in the midst of their worst NRL season and recently lost a bid to keep star forward David Fifita at the club beyond the end of the year.

On Tuesday afternoon the Broncos denied they had finalised the investigation into Pangai's breach.

However, a breach of contract notice is expected to be imminent, in which he will have five days to respond.

It's understood he is also facing a $40,000 breach notice from the NRL for his blatant violation of the biosecurity guidelines.

He will be the fourth person from the club to be fined for breaching COVID-19 restrictions after three members of the coaching staff - Allan Langer, Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan - attended a private function.

They were each fined $5000 by the NRL.

Coach Anthony Seibold is also on hold after remaining in Sydney to attend to a serious family matter following Friday night's loss.

with AAP