Adam Reynolds and Pat Carrigan have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute for their part in the Broncos fan day brawl, but are likely to take part in the club’s Vegas adventure with reports that only a fine will follow.
The NRL served breach notices on the pair late on Friday afternoon, and while the potential sanctions are not revealed under the terms of the player’s collective bargaining agreement, it has been reported that no ban is likely and the club will not stand the players down themselves.
“The National Rugby League (NRL) today issued Brisbane Broncos players Adam Reynolds and Patrick Carrigan with Breach Notices alleging a breach of the NRL Code of Conduct following a public incident this week,” read a statement.
“Both players are alleged to have engaged in a physical altercation in public which has brought the game into disrepute.
“Reynolds and Carrigan have 5 business days to respond to the Breach Notices.
The NRL has reminded other players involved in the incident of their responsibilities under the NRL Code of Conduct.”
The other players in question are Payne Haas and Reece Walsh, who were implicated when a second angle of the incident appeared.
In the other footage, it is clear to see the fullback and front rower wrestling with the pair after their night on the tiles in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
The club’s view is Haas and Walsh were skylarking in a jocular manner, not harming anyone or being aggressive. That they were doing it in a public place is the Broncos’ main concern.
Brisbane have been in damage control for several days, but that may be set to escalate ahead of their impending trip to Las Vegas, with Walsh and Haas thrown into the mix.
On Tuesday, Reynolds and Carrigan fronted media after training at the club’s Red Hill base to apologise for their part in the brawl that has thrown the club’s preseason into chaos.
“I take full responsibility for what happened, it’s obviously not good enough,” Reynolds said.
“I’m pretty disappointed in it. As a club, we’ve come a long way with our culture.
“We’re embarrassed … we’re a really tight group. We understand it’s not a good look.
“We were there as mates. It started out as a playful fight, a little bit of wrestle. It got a little bit heated, but there’s no one injured.”
The pair were filmed engaging in a heated push and shove during a night out following the club’s recent fan day, with Reynolds reportedly trying to get Carrigan to go home, with the Queensland and Australia rep admitting that his captain was looking after him.
“I won’t get into the ins and outs of it but Adam had my best interests at heart and it was clearly time for me to go home,” he said.
“I take full responsibility for my actions. It’s obviously not ideal behaviour that I am proud of. I stand side by side with Adam
“We were mucking around and joking in a public place when we shouldn’t have been.
“I’m lucky that, as a leader, he’s there to support me, and I wouldn’t want to have any other captain or teammate or friend in that regard.”
Coach Kevin Walters also spoke to media, but said that he would not be banning the players and would instead wait for the NRL integrity unit to pass down a judgement. They are investigating.
“We won’t be suspending them,” said Walters.
“The NRL integrity unit is looking at all the vision and they’ll be obviously doing some interviews, so it’s out of our hands now and into theirs … but from our perspective they will be on the plane (to Las Vegas).
“I have walked in their shoes before. Sometimes it’s not easy. Rugby league is a very competitive sport, lots of testosterone, and boys like that have fun.
“They’re not boys, they’re men and wrestling. Obviously (it) got a bit out of hand, so it’s disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world, really.”
Reynolds added: “Whatever it is, we’re more than happy to wear it.
“We put our hand up. We accept full responsibility for what happened and whatever happens happens.”
Walters said he was confident behaviour would not be an issue in Las Vegas.
“I’m very confident with our players. Their behaviour has been immaculate the last couple of years,” Walters said.
“We had a blip on Sunday evening. It was in-house too, no one from outside was involved.
“All they’ve done is really hurt themselves and the brand, more than anyone from the public.”
Reynolds and Carrigan are senior leaders at the club and two of the vital cogs in the Broncos’ quest to go one better than last year, when they suffered grand final heartbreak in a 26-24 loss to Penrith.
“The NRL integrity unit is aware of the matter and is liaising with the club,” an NRL spokesman said.
The incident is the second scuffle between Broncos players to go public in the past two years, after Payne Haas and Albert Kelly were each suspended for one game following a 2022 incident.
Sunday was a massive day on the club’s calender, with thousands of fans turning out to meet the squad, including Reynolds and Carrigan.
Players went out afterwards for a social gathering.