Paul Vaughan: St George Illawarra sack prop for breaching Covid rules with house party

Paul Vaughan
Paul Vaughan had been contracted to the Dragons until the end of the 2022 season

Australia prop Paul Vaughan has been sacked by St George Illawarra Dragons for breaching Covid-19 bio-security protocols after inviting 12 team-mates to his house for a party on Saturday.

Vaughan, 30, was dismissed a day after he was fined $50,000 (£27,000) by the National Rugby League (NRL) and handed a season-ending eight-game ban.

The other 12 Dragons players have also been punished by the NRL and club.

The club said they “haven’t taken any of the 13 players’ actions lightly.”

In a statement, the Dragons said terminating Vaughan’s contract was the result of “a number of breaches that include and predate the current matter”.

The twice-capped Australia international, who previously played for Italy at two World Cups and has represented New South Wales in State of Origin, had a year remaining on his deal.

The NRL last week ordered teams to return to its strictest biosecurity level, meaning players and staff must stay at home unless training, playing or completing essential household tasks.

The competition’s governing body handed out fines totalling $305,000 (£166,000) and 20 weeks worth of suspensions to Dragons players on Tuesday.

All 13 players were also fined $1,000 (£547) by New South Wales police.

Each of the 12 players who attended the party, who will serve one-match bans staggered over a four-week period, were each find an undisclosed amount by the club on Tuesday with money going to charity. They have also been ordered to do “compulsory extracurricular club service”.

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