The NRL’s reputation is suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune this week as players appear to be running amok – the anti-violence message doesn’t seem to be getting through as members from three teams are under investigation for incidents over three days.
The National Rugby League Integrity Unit is investigating behavioural matters concerning the Bulldogs’ Reni Maitua and Newcastle’s Russell Packer as well as Sunday’s incident concerning Manly’s Richie Fa’aoso.
Russell Packer has spoken to police following after a 22-year-old Summer Hill man was found unconscious and Maitua allegedly assaulted a taxi driver on Monday morning. Fa’aoso made headlines after an alleged incident on Sunday.
NRL chief operating officer, Mr Jim Doyle, has warned all players and clubs of the need for consequences in relation to any breaches of the NRL’s Code of Conduct.
‘We must all accept the need to establish the relevant facts and the Integrity Unit will carry out that task with the cooperation of the clubs,’ said Mr Doyle.
‘If, however, breaches are established then we will act accordingly.
‘The Integrity Unit has provided a clear mechanism for assessing behavioural issues and we have already shown this year that we will act on the outcomes.
‘The overwhelming majority of our players are fantastic ambassadors both for the game and the community. It is all the more important, therefore, that we send clear messages in relation to off-field misbehaviour.
‘Again, we will wait until all relevant facts can be established but fans and players should be in no doubt that there have to be consequences for people who are found to have breached the Code of Conduct.
‘We will always work with players in supporting them in terms of welfare and education but the issue of personal responsibility has to remain.’