David Beck: Some NRL players are simply selfish

OPINION

Some NRL players need to pull their heads in.

Last week, Penrith Panthers hooker Apisai Koroisau was issued a two-game suspension and fined $35,000 for alleged Covid-19 breaches involving an unregistered female guest while he was in the NSW State of Origin bubble.

It was the latest in a string of breaches by rugby league players. Jai Arrow was kicked out of Queensland’s State of Origin camp for a similar breach.

These indiscretions came after 13 Dragons players were fined and suspended for having a house party that broke Sydney’s Covid-19 regulations earlier this month.

All clubs are currently in quarantine in Queensland. The breaches have resulted in the Queensland Government issuing the Australian Rugby League a final warning that one more breach would result in teams and families being sent home.

All this while teams such as the Warriors have barely been home to New Zealand in the past two years, a sacrifice they have made to ensure the competition can continue.

On a wider scale, what about the people all over the world who have lost loved ones, lost jobs, and struggled to get by because of this pandemic?

NRL players have been given the privilege of being able to continue doing what they love and earning hundreds of thousands of dollars while they’re at it.

The fact that despite all this, some still consider themselves above the law is, in my view,selfish.

I feel for the players who do abide by the rules, Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck being a leading light in that department.

Tuivasa-Sheck, in his own quiet way, has led the Warriors through two of the hardest seasons they will ever face. He leaves the club to play rugby union for the Blues next year and has been denied a home farewell in Auckland by this latest Covid-19 outbreak in Australia.

What must he think when he sees players in opposition teams putting themselves and others at risk by flouting the rules?

Imagine if one of the players who breached Covid-19 regulations contracted the virus. They would put their teammates, club staff, and officials at risk.

If they played a game while contagious that puts another entire club at risk and therefore the whole competition.

I’d like to think other players will learn from these mistakes. However, I have my doubts.

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