Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch has been stood down for a breach of COVID-19 restrictions at the club’s Sunshine Coast hub.
The Queensland Origin forward will miss this weekend’s game against Wests Tigers and also faces a possible fine.
The Storm reportedly contacted the NRL Integrity Unit and Queensland government after being made aware of a possible breach, news of which was broken by the Herald Sun.
The publication reported a player had been forced into self-isolation after inviting a guest into the quarantine hub overnight.
The Storm travelled to Sydney to play South Sydney on September 4, and from midnight last night would have been back in Queensland for 14 days.
That would have allowed them the same freedoms as regular Queensland residents, but any breach of the “bubble” before the completion of that 14-day isolation period would prove problematic.
It’s been reported Welch’s guest arrived before midnight on Friday, before the rules were eased, which is why he’s been punished.
Melbourne relocated to the Sunshine Coast earlier this season when it became clear the coronavirus situation in Victoria was worsening.
The club headed north in June and has been playing its home games in Queensland, while occasionally flying in and out of NSW on game day for other matches.
Craig Bellamy’s troops are preparing for a tilt at the premiership, having surged to second on the ladder with two games to play.
The Storm have won 15 of their 18 matches this season and face the Tigers on Saturday, before finishing the regular season against the Dragons.
Originally published as NRL star dumped over virus breach