'It's just crazy': Top cop takes aim at 'arrogant' NRL players

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·Sports Reporter
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NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys (pictured right) during a press conference and Dragons player Paul Vaughan (pictured left).
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys (pictured right) has slammed the Dragons players that attended Paul Vaughan's (pictured left) home during the state's stay-at-home orders. (Getty Images)

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys has blasted the Dragons players for allegedly breaching state restrictions after a number no stars attended a gathering at Paul Vaughan's home.

The NRL and NSW Police spent Sunday investigating Dragons players who broke stay-at-home orders to attend a party at forward Paul Vaughan's house on Saturday night.

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The players reported to have attended Paul Vaughan's house include Corey Norman, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Blake Lawrie, Kaide Ellis, Matt Dufty, Gerard Beale, Josh Kerr, Daniel Alvaro and Zac Lomax.

Thirteen people were issued with $1000 fines from the police for breaching the public health order, after they were called to Vaughan's Shellharbour house.

The Dragons released a statement and accepted that a large numbers of players had broken the NRL's biosecurity bubble and NSW stay-at-home orders.

But Deputy Commissioner Worboys labelled the act from the players as 'arrogance' on their behalf.

“It’s just crazy. It’s crazy they think, one, that they can do it and two, that they can get away with it,” he said on Monday.

“I think there’s a touch of arrogance about it.

“Let’s just hope it sends a really good message now not just to NRL players, but to everyone.

“I’ve got no doubt the rugby league club and indeed the governing body will probably take some other action. I don’t think this will be the end of it for those people.”

Huge bans called for Paul Vaughan and Corey Norman

Two of the players involved Vaughan and Norman.

Leading NRL reporter Buzz Rothfield called for the pair to be heavily sanctioned due to their history.

Vaughan was penalised last year after he broke the NRL biosecurity bubble, while Rothfield said Norman's past with the NRL Integrity Unit doesn't sit well with him.

“There are a couple of repeat offenders there and I’m so filthy on them, I’m talking about Paul Vaughan and Corey Norman,” he told the Big Sports Breakfast.

“Vaughan broke the bubble last year in Covid when he shouldn’t have been, Norman has got that many charges he’s on first-name terms with the integrity unit.

“I would like to see these two, both of them, kicked out of the game for a substantial period of time for so blatantly breaking the laws. I really think Vaughan and Norman should be suspended for up to six weeks.”

The situation could have dire implications for the Dragons' season, given if any person from outside the NRL bubble was present each player would need to be placed in two weeks' of isolation.

Dragons players Paul Vaughan (pictured) thanking the crowd.
Dragons players Paul Vaughan (pictured) is being investigated over throwing an alleged house party during NSW's strict stay-at-home orders. (Getty Images)

Even if there wasn't a biosecurity need to sit players out, there is every chance the NRL could still come down with bans to go with big fines for a blatant bubble breach.

ARL Commissioner Peter V'landys called for players to understand the consequences of what it means to breach the NRL biosecurity bubble.

"The players have to understand that if they don't follow the protocols there will be no game," V'landys told AAP.

"And if there is no game not only does it affect their salary and wages, but also the salary and wages of players in the future.

"Because it will have a dramatic financial effect on the finances of the game.

"They have to understand they are playing not only for themselves but their fellow players, future players and all the people who make a living out of rugby league.

"That is enough of an incentive for them to follow the protocols."

with AAP

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