Dragons enforcer Paul Vaughan has been busted after breaching the NRL’s Covid bubble protocol to visit a cafe, just hours after Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett was also busted.
Vaughan concedes there is no excuse for his breach after the St George Illawarra prop was rubbed out for two weeks and placed into isolation.
The State of Origin forward was caught having breakfast at a Wollongong cafe on Thursday, in a direct breach of the NRL's biosecurity rules.
'NEVER GETS DISCUSSED': Biggest 'shame' in Israel Folau saga
He was been stood down from Thursday night's clash with the Sydney Roosters, and will also miss next week's game against Parramatta.
He will only return on the eve of a clash with Brisbane, having not trained with the squad for two weeks.
The news comes as a massive blow for the Dragons, who are close to the point of must-win football and now must do it without their best prop.
"I am very remorseful for the reckless and selfish decision I have made," Vaughan said.
"Everyone within the Dragons' bubble, including myself, are well aware of the protocols in place.
"I'm sorry for the harm my actions have caused to the club and my teammates."
Vaughan has been tested for COVID-19, and will require to pass another test before returning to the team.
Prop Kaide Ellis will come in for the 29-year-old, playing his first game for the Dragons since moving from Penrith mid-season.
“St George Illawarra have confirmed Dragons front-rower Paul Vaughan broke the NRL’s Covid-19 biosecurity measures on Thursday morning,” it read.
“The Dragons are disappointed with Vaughan’s conduct and are working with the NRL and Project Apollo to determine his availability for the Dragons’ Round 13 clash against the Sydney Roosters.”
Bennett busted over bubble breach
On Thursday The Daily Telegraph first reported the South Sydney coach visited an Italian restaurant in Leichhardt with his partner.
Under the NRL's biosecurity rules, players and selected club officials cannot have visitors or go to pubs, cafes or restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bennett fronted the media via a teleconference on Thursday morning, admitting to attending the restaurant.
He said he thought it was okay because it was just him and his partner, whom he lives with.