NRL star defends breaking social distancing rules
NRL superstars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo Carr have spent the weekend on a camping getaway, apparently disobeying strict COVID-19 social distancing rules.
On the day the NRL introduced new biosecurity measures at the 16 clubs, the Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm players were on Mitchell's farm near Taree with a group of 12 men.
They clearly ignored the social distancing laws in this photo taken by a camp fire that Addo-Carr posted on social media with other pictures of them on motor bikes and shooting.
The Daily Telegraph sent a copy of the photo to ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys on Sunday night. He declined to comment until he had all the details which he will ask for on Monday.
Addo-Carr spoke to the Daily Telegraph this morning and denied he'd done the wrong thing.
"They're my family mate, my cousins and two of my uncles," he said.
"I don't know what to say. I came up here for my pregnant missus. She's about to have a baby then spent some time with my family."
The Storm winger sent a text message 15 minutes later: "Just touching on what we spoke about! Mate it was cultural gathering. Learning about our land and our culture, learning how to hunt live off the land, thank you take care."
Clubs face hefty fines and the possibility of losing competition points if players break the COVID-19 rules.
Addo-Carr wrote on social media: "Blackfulla adventures Camping with the brothers on @iam_lm01 (Latrell Mitchell's) property biripi country, throwing the bikes around & hunting, I'm next to buy a big property I think."
There are also videos of Addo-Carr and Mitchell riding motorbikes without helmets.
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy was shown a copy of the photo on Sunday night.
"I wasn't aware of this photo," he said. "I've not spoken to Josh for a while. I can't provide any context to it.
"Our players have been absent from the club since the season was suspended late last month, but when they are back on deck for the recommencement of the season they'll be fully briefed regarding the protocols being implemented by the NRL and clubs."
South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly declined to comment but said he would speak to Mitchell about the photo later today.
Players have been released by their clubs and are not due back at training until May 4 but are expected to obey government guidelines.
Government guidelines state, people can only leave the house for:
# going to work or education (if you are unable to do so at home);
# shopping for essential supplies such as groceries, return home without delay;
# going out for personal exercise in the neighbourhood, on your own or with one other; or
# attending medical appointments or compassionate visits.
They are also expected to stay 1.5 metres away from others.
Originally published as Busted! NRL stars break social distance rules