St George Illawarra have sacked prop Paul Vaughan after police broke up a house party at his property on Saturday night which was in breach of NSW COVID-19 regulations.
Dragons sources told the Herald on Tuesday morning the club has drawn a line in the sand and terminated Vaughan’s contract when they gathered for the virtual board meeting.
The only thing that could have saved Vaughan was if the club felt it didn’t have a legal right to terminate his deal. The Herald understands the party was not his first strike at the club and officials were comfortable to proceed with that course of action.
Vaughan was hit with an eight-game ban and a $50,000 fine by the NRL on Monday night. The sanction would have ruled him out for the remainder of the regular season but he has now played his final game for the club.
The St George Illawarra board will also impose its own financial sanctions against the remaining 12 players involved on top of the $305,000 combined fines and 20 games worth of suspensions handed out by the NRL.
The Dragons will look for a replacement at a time when Marty Taupau, Aaron Woods, Tevita Pangai Junior, Jaydn Su’A and Dale Finucane are all on the lookout for deals next year.
Jack de Belin is also set to feel the wrath of the Dragons board after attempting to cover up his presence at the party. De Belin hid underneath a bed when NSW police arrived at the premise following a noise complaint.
He later turned himself into police and was fined $1000 for breaching the state’s public health order. He is expected to face harsher punishments than the other 11 players.