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Penrith premiership stars Nathan Cleary and Tyrone May are set to be interviewed by the NRL Integrity Unit over three Panthers fans who managed to travel from Sydney to Queensland for the NRL grand final.
The three men are under investigation by NSW Police, after they were discovered with the Panthers pair while the team celebrated their grand final win in Queensland.
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Neither Cleary nor May are believed to have known the three men had broken health orders to attend the grand final, nor were they even aware they were there.
It has been suggested in various reports that the three men were known to Cleary and May, who were living together in 2020.
One of the men is rumoured to have lived with the Panthers pair.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the NRL has been communication with both Queensland and NSW Police to get to the bottom of the situation.
Cleary and May's time as housemates already resulted in one scandal, after the pair were fined over the infamous TikTok video that brought them undone during the first lockdown of 2020.
Their relatively short time as NRL premiers has also proven to be somewhat controversial, with a series of minor incidents taking the shine off an otherwise thrilling premiership.
The NRL's integrity unit is investigating if Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary was aware his room-mates crossed the Queensland border to attend the Grand Final. @WesternWilson9 #9News pic.twitter.com/JAIBh3mXmD
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) October 9, 2021
First, May was criticised over an Instagram post referencing his conviction for recording a woman during a sexual encounter without her consent.
Using lyrics from Canadian rapper Drake to imply 'dirt' had been thrown on his name, May deleted the post after copping heavy criticism from both within and outside the NRL world.
His post attracted supportive comments from many Panthers players, as well as other high-profile NRL players.
Viliame Kikau drew the ire of South Sydney after singing their club song following the Panthers' premiership success, while the NRL asked the club for a 'please explain' over images shared on social media of the premiership trophy broken and being carried around in a baby's stroller.
Penrith board member Greg Alexander criticises premiership celebrations
Despite the thrill of winning a long-awaited premiership, Penrith great Greg Alexander said the string of slightly embarrassing incidents showed it was time for players to 'pull their heads in'.
While Alexander argued things like the premiership trophy being broken weren't unheard of over the years, he said it was time for players to get off social media and make the celebrations a little more low key.
Speaking on SEN Radio, Alexander said he was not particularly pleased with some of the stories emerging from the Panthers' camp.
“There have been a couple of social media things that haven’t impressed me,” he said.
“I think a couple of our players need to pull their heads in after what they’ve posted on social media.
“It gets a bit out of control. I don’t follow social media.
“I’ve had people tell me about what’s been posted, and some of it shouldn’t have been.
“It was a bit out of line.”
NRL boss Andrew Abdo was reportedly livid with the trophy situation, with the Daily Telegraph suggesting league bosses were unhappy about the 'disrespect' with which the trophy has been treated.
In one of the images, the likenesses of Norm Provan and Arthur Summons can be seen in what appears to be a pram with the caption "googoo gaga" on the image.
The images, which were reportedly posted on Instagram by the partner of one of the players, also showed the detached statue in a child's shoulder strap with the caption 'dad duties'.
An NRL spokesman has confirmed to AAP that the league has asked the Panthers for an explanation.
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