Bulldogs to investigate 'concerning' misconduct allegations

Canterbury's round-one preparations have been rocked with Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor stood down two days out from their NRL season-opener against Parramatta.

The Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon confirmed both players had been provisionally suspended by the NRL, but did not detail the nature of their alleged breaches.

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The club claimed neither were subject to a criminal investigation, but both had been issued a show-cause notice by the league after the club notified them of alleged misconduct.

Sydney Morning Herald journalists Adrian Proszenko and Michael Chammas reported the pair had been temporarily stood down for allegedly having consensual sex with two high-school aged girls, who they brought back to the team hotel in Port Macquarie during a recent pre-season trip.

Their report said there would be no criminal investigation into the pair’s allegations, since the two girls were both above the age of consent (16 years) in New South Wales.

No complaints have been made against either player, to police or the club.

"Each was issued a show cause notice by the NRL as to why they shouldn't face further disciplinary action for alleged breaches of the game's code of conduct," Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said.

Canterbury Bulldogs players Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera have been stood down temporarily after allegedly bringing two high-school aged girls back to the team hotel in Port Macquarie while on a recent pre-season trip. Pictures: Getty Images

"While neither player is the subject of a criminal investigation, the club is treating the matter very seriously.

"The Bulldogs referred the matter to the NRL integrity unit after receiving concerning reports of alleged misconduct by the two players.

"The club also initiated its own internal review.

"The allegations are that each player engaged in behaviour that represents a serious breach of the NRL rules and the Bulldogs' code of conduct, resulting in the NRL notice."

Bulldogs left to cover for star duo

Harawira-Naera moved to the club last year from Penrith, and formed a dangerous part of the Bulldogs' strong back row.

He led the NRL last year in offloads with 59, and also busted through 41 tackles.

Okunbor made his debut on the wing last year, and proved to be one of the game's most powerful runners of the ball.

He made headlines when he ran over Melbourne captain Cameron Smith in his second NRL game.

Both players had been training with the NRL club's top team as recently as Monday.

"The club supports the NRL's decision to issue the breach notices and will continue to work with the NRL to conclude the process," Hill said.

"Both players have an opportunity to respond to the matters alleged in the breach notice before any final decision is made."

Both the NRL and Bulldogs have been approached for further comment.

WITH AAP

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