A promising young Warriors player and his mother allegedly assaulted a teenager at a party over the weekend - prompting an investigation by the club and the NRL.
Patrick Herbert, 22, who joined the Warriors this season after three years at the St George Illawarra Dragons, was allegedly involved in an altercation between two families on Saturday night.
The Herald understands at least three other people were alleged to have been involved.
In a social media post this week, Elizabeth Baker claimed Herbert and his mother attacked her 19-year-old son.
The post has since been removed from Facebook.
The Herald understands that while police weren't called at the time of the alleged incident, and while no charges have been laid, Herbert reported the matter to authorities on Sunday.
Warriors CEO Cameron George confirmed the club was investigating the matter.
"On Sunday Patrick reported an incident to the club that occurred at his house involving family members and friends," George told the Herald.
"We are working with both families and the NRL as regards to the incident and there is nothing further to add."
George wouldn't be drawn on any possible sanctions for the young utility back, who has played centre, winger or fullback during his league career.
"At this stage, we have no comment to make on possible sanctions, until we understand what the full story is," said George.
"We will work with the families and the NRL to get the appropriate outcome, whether that is sanctions or otherwise."
The Warriors announced two weeks ago that players facing serious allegations of misconduct would be automatically banned from playing this NRL season - in a move designed to protect the club from the scandals that have crippled the league this pre-season.
The policy change means that players would be unable to turn out for the club, even if civil proceedings (like a court case) had yet to take their course.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney told the Herald he had met with Herbert but said the player wouldn't be stood down.
"First of all I asked if he [Herbert] was alright — him [and his family] — and then he presented me with his facts," said Kearney.
"I made an assessment of it and we are working through it now as a footy club. We are getting the facts like they are getting the facts. He won't be stood down."
Whakatane-born Herbert attracted some interest from Super Rugby franchises while he was representing St Kentigern's 1st XV side, but decided to sign with the Dragons at the end of the 2015 season.
He represented the Junior Kiwis in 2016 and 2017 and returned to Auckland in October, after linking up with the Warriors.
Patrick Herbert represented the Junior Kiwis in 2016 and 2017. Photo / Photosport
Herbert impressed in the Warriors' trial against the Storm in Geelong last month, making some tidy runs on attack and putting in a solid defensive performance.
News of the NRL's investigation follows after a drink-driving incident overshadowed the naming of the Warriors squad for the season-opener against the Bulldogs on Tuesday.
The club announced that 20-year-old prop Isaiah Papali'i would miss the clash at Mt Smart for an incident related to the Rhythm and Vines music festival in Gisborne in December.
Attempts to contact Baker were unsuccessful.