The Canterbury Bulldogs have been rocked just days out from the 2020 season kicking off with two stars being stood down by the league.
Stars Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor have both been handed show cause notices by the NRL over alleged breaches of the code of conduct.
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The Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon confirmed both players had been provisionally suspended by the NRL, but did not detail the nature of their alleged breaches.
The club claimed neither were subject to a criminal investigation, but both had been issued a show-cause notice by the league after the club notified them of alleged misconduct.
Channel 9’s Danny Weidler later reported the issue at hand was due to “alleged actions towards a female”.
Bulldogs Chief Executive Andrew Hill released a statement shortly after the news was brought to light and confirmed 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.
@NRL_Bulldogs Bulldogs players Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor have been stood down for alleged misconduct. They've been suspended and won't play in rd 1 on Thursday night against the @TheParraEels in Parramatta. They haven't been charged with any criminal offences. #NRL
“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.”
Jayden Okunbor has been stood down.Source:News Corp Australia
Harawira-Naera moved to the club last year from Penrith, and formed a dangerous part of the Bulldogs’ strong back row.
He led the NRL last year in offloads with 59, and also busted through 41 tackles.
Okunbor made his debut on the wing last year, and proved to be one of the game’s most powerful runners of the ball.
He made headlines when he ran over Melbourne captain Cameron Smith in his second NRL game.
Both players had been training with the NRL club’s top team as recently as Monday.
— with Scott Bailey, AAP
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