Kiwi NRL star and teammate stood down for meeting girls after school visit

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Mar 2020, 9:36AM
Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor. (Photo / Photosport)
Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor. (Photo / Photosport)

Kiwi NRL star and teammate stood down for meeting girls after school visit

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Mar 2020, 9:36AM

The NRL has been rocked by a player scandal on the eve of the season.

Kiwis international Corey Harawira-Naera and Bulldogs teammate Jayden Okunbor have been stood down over alleged misconduct involving high school girls during a pre-season trip to Port Macquarie.

Neither player is under criminal investigation. The females involved are over the age of consent, which is 16 in NSW, and neither they or their families have complained to the club, the NRL or the NSW police.

It's alleged they brought the females back to their hotel after reportedly meeting them during an official club visit to the school, 9News reports.

The matter came to light during an internal Bulldogs investigation and the club in turn alerted the NRL Integrity Unit.

"They did breach team policy by bringing girls back to the room," Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Chammas told Triple M's Rush Hour with MG.

"In terms of the Bulldogs, they set these guidelines out for the players that they weren't to bring females back to the room.

"The girls were in high school, but they were of legal age, however, the club made the moral judgment this was against what they stood for and decided in consultation with the NRL that they'd stand them down," Chammas said.

"This came to the Bulldogs on Friday and there's been a series of interviews with the people involved since then and they've decided to take this course of action."

Bulldogs Chief Executive Andrew Hill released a statement confirming both players had been provisionally suspended.

"Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor have been stood down by the Bulldogs after each was issued a show cause notice by the NRL as to why they shouldn't face further disciplinary action for alleged breaches of the Game's Code of Conduct," Hill said.

"Both players have been provisionally suspended by the NRL and neither player is available for selection for Thursday night's NRL season opener against Parramatta.

"The Bulldogs referred the matter to the NRL Integrity Unit after receiving concerning reports of alleged misconduct by the two players. The Club also initiated its own internal review.

"While neither player is the subject of a criminal investigation, the Club is treating the matter very seriously. The allegations are that each player engaged in behaviour that represents a serious breach of the NRL Rules and the Bulldogs' Code of Conduct, resulting in the NRL notice.

"The Club supports the NRL's decision to issue the breach notices and will continue to work with the NRL to conclude the process.

"Both players have an opportunity to respond to the matters alleged in the breach notice before any final decision is made."