The NRL is investigating James Roberts after he was seen at Tim Tszyu’s fight in Newcastle last night.
Wests Tigers centre James Roberts could be in hot water after attending the Tim Tszyu v Dennis Hogan fight in Newcastle last night, possibly breaching the NRL’s biosecurity rules.
NRL.com reports Roberts attended the bout, as did Parramatta’s Will Smith, despite an email to all clubs on Wednesday that advised players were not permitted to be present.
It’s reported that Souths players Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell were granted special dispensation to attend, as long as they wore masks and socially distanced.
Roberts is not believed to have sought an exemption, and reportedly did not wear a mask.
NRL protocols have been ramped up this week following the COVID-19 outbreak in Brisbane, with level-two restrictions in place.
That means players are required to wear a mask while indoors at public venues, while catching public transport is banned.
The outbreak has already forced the NRL to relocate two of this weekend’s matches, with the Sharks-Cowboys and Titans-Raiders matches moved to Kogarah, while the Broncos relocated to Sydney earlier this week.
The Broncos fly to Melbourne for tomorrow night’s match, before returning to Sydney for at least another week.
The NRL has asked the Tigers to explain Roberts’ actions. He has been named in the Tigers’ squad to face Parramatta on Monday.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports a number of Newcastle players, along with coach Adam O’Brien, had been planning to attend the fight, but cancelled when the restrictions were introduced.
Exactly what sanction Roberts might face, if any, is not immediately clear. Last season Nathan Cleary was banned for two weeks for failing to co-operate with the NRL’s Integrity Unit’s investigation into whether or not he broke social-distancing rules after a TikTok video emerged of the Penrith star with a group of women.
Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr were each fined $20,000, with a further $30,000 suspended, for an Easter camping trip to Mitchell’s property at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.
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