NRL club St George Illawarra have sacked prop Paul Vaughan for hosting a party that breached virus protocols over the weekend.
Paul Vaughan has been sacked by St George Illawarra after the prop hosted an illegal party at his home last Saturday which was attended by 12 other Dragons players.
In an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the board decided to tear up the remaining 15 months of his deal which was worth around $750,000 per season.
Vaughan apologised for the incident via an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“My actions were stupid, unexplainable and irresponsible,” he wrote
“The events that took place on the weekend were thoughtless and disrespectful to not only the game that I love, but to all of the sponsors, members and fans as well as the broader community.
“The reality is, I should have known better and I am truly sorry.
“I have let a lot of people down through my actions, and I hope that this sincere apology shows how deeply sorry I am and that I realise the enormity and stupidity of what I have done.
“To say that I have learnt a lesson from this is an understatement. I hope one day in the future, I can get the opportunity to showcase my remorse through better actions on and off the field.
“Again, I apologise to my team mates, the NRL, the Club, its members, sponsors and fans along with all stakeholders in the game and community.”
Vaughan was already fined $50,000 by the NRL and slapped with an eight-game ban for breaching COVID-19 protocols, as well as fined by NSW Police for breaking the health order.
“The St George Illawarra Dragons have handed down additional club-imposed sanctions to the 13 players who breached NRL biosecurity protocols and state government public health orders on Saturday night,” the club said in a statement.
“The remainder of Paul Vaughan’s playing contract has been terminated, effective immediately, as a result of now a number of breaches that include and predate the current matter.
“Vaughan was contracted to the Dragons until the end of the 2022 season.
“The remaining 12 players will be issued with individual breach notices containing a confidential monetary fine that will be forwarded to selected local charities as well as compulsory extracurricular club service.”
Dragons CEO Ryan Webb said: The board haven’t taken any of the 13 players’ actions lightly and reinforced this on Tuesday morning by taking these additional actions including the termination of Paul Vaughan’s contract.
“The club maintains it holds no reservations over the punishments already handed down by the NRL Integrity Unit and New South Wales Police.
“These additional penalties have been determined in such a way that the beneficiaries will be those affected by the players’ misconduct.”