'Lead by example': NRL slams stars' 'unacceptable' virus breach

Pictured left, the camping trip photo that's landed NSW stars Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell in strife.
The NRL is investigating an alleged health breach by Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell. Pic: Instagram/Getty

The NRL has vowed to investigate an apparent breach of social distancing rules from several star players that it has described as "disappointing and an unacceptable".

NSW Police have also launched an investigation into whether South Sydney's Latrell Mitchell and Melbourne Storm's Josh Addo-Carr flouted social distancing laws on a mid-north coast farm.

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On the same day the NRL gave clubs a draft of strict new biosecurity rules, Addo-Carr posted images of himself and Mitchell at a property near Taree.

The photos have since been deleted from Instagram but they included an image of the pair with 10 men around a fire plus videos of Melbourne flyer Addo-Carr on a dirt bike.

Addo-Carr has since told News Corp he was with his pregnant partner in the region and visited his cousins and uncles.

“It was a cultural gathering,” he said.

“Learning about our land and our culture, learning how to hunt, live off the land.”

The NRL confirmed on Monday morning they would investigate the matter and support any government sanctions handed down, given it appears a massive blow to restart their season.

"On face value, the image in today's media is both disappointing and an unacceptable breach of health orders," the NRL said in a statement.

"The NRL will be speaking to the players involved to seek further information and we will ensure the players provide any assistance authorities require.

"Our players are role models and we expect them to lead by example during this pandemic."

Daily Telegraph sports editor-at-large Phil Rothfield told Big Sports Breakfast the players are facing possible suspension.

“We’ve still got selfish people like footballers camping while everyone else is in lockdown,” he said on Monday morning.

“It’s disappointing more than anything else that everyone else is facing sacrifices.”

Canberra Raiders legend Laurie Daley said Mitchell and Addo-Carr had effectively put the NRL’s bid to restart the suspended season in jeopardy.

“It’s one thing to be able to put these things in place but people need to follow them,” he said.

Newcastle are also investigating Tyronne Roberts-Davis' involvement, after the NRL squad member was seen in one of the photos.

Mitchell has a farm in the region and spent a significant amount of his summer there while considering his contract options before joining South Sydney.

However, Addo-Carr's social media suggests he has spent the majority of the coronavirus shutdown in Sydney.

NSW Police investigating alleged health breach

Under NSW guidelines, people can only leave the house for work, essential shopping, personal exercise, medical appointments and compassionate visits.

"The matter will be investigated. What action is taken will fall out of that investigation," NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys said.

"I have spoken this morning to the regional commander at northern.

"He will make himself aware of what's on the back page of the paper and make some inquiries.

"Police haven't been backward at all in taking complaints, making investigations and taking the appropriate action."

Melbourne boss Dave Donaghy had not spoken to Addo-Carr on Sunday night, with players due back for training next Monday.

The Rabbitohs have been approached for comment in regards to Mitchell.

The pictures could not have come at a worse time for the league.

The NRL hopes to convince government this week it can return safely given the biosecurity measures it will implement.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would not comment on Monday on whether it would affect the game's chances of a May 28 resumption.

Under the proposed rules players would have to stay home except for training, playing, doctor's visits and essential food shopping.

They also dictate players cannot have visitors in their homes.

The NRL has threatened teams with the loss of points and heavy fines if any player breaks the rules.

"We are embarking on a significant education program to ensure our players understand what is acceptable behaviour ahead of the resumption of training," the NRL said.

"When training resumes our players and officials must comply with biosecurity protocols that go further than current government restrictions.

"As a group, our players have taken government health orders very seriously and have helped educate the community.

"On face value, today's matter is unacceptable and we support the government in any action they believe necessary."

with Yahoo Sport staff