State of Origin star Nathan Cleary has labelled his behaviour “naive” in an apology for breaking social distancing laws on Anzac Day.
The 22-year-old was fined by NSW Police and sanctioned by the NRL for being photographed with a group of women flouting the public health order.
On Tuesday the NRL slapped him with a $4000 fine, with $6000 and a one-game ban suspended provided he shows good behaviour.
It comes as the NRL announced plans to play a 20-game season starting May 28 and is seeking final approval from the Australian government.
“I just want to apologise, as a role model in the community it’s obviously not good enough,” he told Channel Nine.
“I’ve been in the RLPA meetings and know all about these rules which leaves me no excuse for the naivety that I’ve showed. I shouldn’t have done it and I stuffed up.”
Cleary explained while what he did was wrong, a visit from the group of girls was unplanned and he was unaware a photo was taken.
“My sister’s friends and girls that I have grown up with were drinking down the road on the street and they came by and popped in and said they were just waiting for an Uber before they went to someone else’s house,” he said, estimating the group was in his house for no longer than 10 minutes.
“Obviously in the time that they were here there was a photo taken, I had no idea about it until this morning.”
NSW Police is investigating the details.
It comes after fellow NSW teammates Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr were also fined for breaking the public health order over the weekend.
On Tuesday the duo received $50,000 fines, $30,000 of them and a one-match ban suspended.
They were later charged with firearms offences and have been asked to attend court in August.