Up to a dozen St George Illawarra players are under investigation for a potential biosecurity breach involving a reported house party hosted by star forward Paul Vaughan that prompted noise complaints from neighbours.
NSW Police and the NRL integrity unit are looking into the matter, which comes after a torrid fortnight for the game with five Bulldogs players and Cronulla star Josh Dugan ordered into isolation for ignoring NRL directives or biosecurity protocols.
On Sunday morning, the integrity unit was trying to determine how many players were at the alleged gathering, which was only broken up when residents in Vaughan’s neighbourhood made complaints to police.
The Herald has been told by sources familiar with the situation that no State of Origin representatives – the Dragons had Tariq Sims, Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough play in game two – were at the party. The NSW and Queensland squads will go into camp for game three on Monday.
But the party is believed to have included mostly players who featured in the Dragons’ gripping golden-point win over the Warriors at the Central Coast on Friday night.
NSW Police said officers attended Vaughan’s Shellharbour home around 9.40pm on Saturday night following reports of visitors there. Police are considering fining the group due to the public health order breach.
“Police spoke to the residents, a 30-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“Four men, aged 21, 24, 25 and 29, were also spoken to and it was determined they were not residents. They were all given directions to leave and return to their homes.”