Knights duo caught in COVID drama
The NRL has suffered another concerning COVID-19 breach with two young gun Newcastle Knights now under investigation for stepping out of bounds to attend a local footy game.
Starford To'a and Simi Siagi are the players in question who attended a local rugby league game in Newcastle on the weekend but claim they did not set out to intentionally break protocols.
However, as innocent as it appears, the drama comes in the wake of a concerning week with Newcastle named as NSW's latest COVID-19 hotspot.
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The city was on high alert after a man with the virus visited five pubs and attended an A-League game at McDonald Jones Stadium, also home of the Knights.
The man was also apparently in contact with a teenage boy from Newcastle.
There were two school closures during the week and health authorities have warned they expect a spike in cases in the area.
It only heightens the NRL's concerns about what appears to be such an innocuous incident.
The NRL is mindful of the age of the two players. To'a is 20 and Siagi is 19.
It is expected the two players will need to go through the COVID testing procedures and step away from the top group for 14 days in isolation.
It is unknown at this stage if the players had made contact with other teammates following the incident.
The claims were the two had attended a rugby league match and were planning to watch the game from their car.
But it is claimed they then made the mistake of watching the game within the vicinity of other patrons, which is strictly against NRL policy for players.
Newcastle football manager Danny Buderus was on Sunday night preparing a report for the NRL.
It comes after Brisbane's Tevita Pangai became the latest player to be caught up in the controversy following separate incidents involving Wayne Bennett and St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan.
There is a genuine fear the continued breaches could be catastrophic for the NRL competition given the enormity of events in recent weeks with the spread of the virus.
To'a is a young sensation who is making his name as a outside back, while Siagi is an exceptionally talented five-eighth on a development contract who scored four tries in his Jersey Flegg debut last year against Manly.
Originally published as Knights duo caught in COVID drama