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National Rugby League Considers Tougher Sanctions For COVID-19 Breaches

SYDNEY—The National Rugby League will consider heavier sanctions for players and officials who breach the bubble, with Peter Vlandys warning they are putting all Queensland teams at risk.

Brisbane enforcer Tevita Pangai Junior on Aug. 9 became the latest player to fall foul of the rules, banished into 14 days of isolation away from his team.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Tevita Pangai Junior during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at the Clive Berghofer Centre Brisbane, Australia on May 14, 2020. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The youngster was caught attending the opening of a barbershop on Aug. 8, less than 24 hours after his team played in Sydney.

He became the sixth person to be sanctioned in just four days, after Wayne Bennett, Paul Vaughan and three Broncos officials including Allan Langer.

Vlandys was left incredibly frustrated by the latest incident, given that he expected Bennetts high-profile breach to be a wake-up for everyone just two days earlier.

While Pangai Junior is expected to be fined, VLandys said that the next step would be to consider bigger punishments for players that could even extend to suspensions.

“Were going to have to look at (heavier sanctions),” Vlandys told AAP.

“I just cant express my disappointment.

“In anything you do there is always that one per cent that brings everyone else down. But we just hope people realise what the ramifications are.

“Were not going to tolerate it.”

The ARL Commission chairman warned players they were not only putting the competition and games finances at risk but the wellbeing of fellow players.

The Queensland government has granted the NRL an exemption for teams to travel across their hard border into NSW but Vlandys cautioned that every breach put that at risk.

“We hope this is a wake-up call. I just hope they realise the repercussions,” he said.

“Its a very selfish act because they put into jeopardy every other player who is in Queensland at the moment.

“How would they feel if the Queensland government pulled the exemption?

“We would have to move every player to NSW (New South Wales).

“It could mean all their colleagues would have to move away from their families.”

“How would they feel if thats what theRead More – Source