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Paul Vaughan sorry for "reckless and stupid" COVID bubble breach

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6th August, 2020
14

Paul Vaughan concedes there is no excuse for his NRL bubble breach after the St George Illawarra prop was rubbed out for two weeks and placed into isolation.

The State of Origin forward was caught having breakfast at a Wollongong cafe on Thursday, in a direct breach of the NRL’s biosecurity rules.

He was been stood down from Thursday night’s clash with the Sydney Roosters, and will also miss next week’s game against Parramatta.

He will only return on the eve of a clash with Brisbane, having not trained with the squad for two weeks.

The news comes as a massive blow for the Dragons, who are close to the point of must-win football and now must do it without their best prop.

“I am very remorseful for the reckless and selfish decision I have made,” Vaughan said.

“Everyone within the Dragons’ bubble, including myself, are well aware of the protocols in place.

“I’m sorry for the harm my actions have caused to the club and my teammates.”

Vaughan has been tested for COVID-19, and will require to pass another test before returning to the team.

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Prop Kaide Ellis will come in for the 29-year-old, playing his first game for the Dragons since moving from Penrith mid-season.

Vaughan’s breach came at the same time that South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett was caught having lunch at a Sydney restaurant on Wednesday.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has told AAP the pair’s actions must be a wake-up call, given it places the whole game at risk.

Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb also didn’t miss, claiming Vaughan had let the club down.

“Paul is one of our most experienced players and we are upset with his judgement in breaking the NRL’s COVID-19 biosecurity protocols,” Webb said.

“Not only has he let the playing group and the entirety of our hard-working staff down but also our Red V members, partners and fans.”

© AAP