NRL prodigy dropped for COVID-19 breach

Newcastle Knights teenage sensation Bradman Best will miss Saturday’s NRL clash with the North Queensland Cowboys for a biosecurity breach after visiting his parents.

The 18-year-old visited his family on Sunday morning, just hours after the league relaxed its biosecurity bubble and let players out of the house.

Under the NRL’s rules, Best would have been able to have the parents to his house or meet them at a cafe. However, any visit to another household must be cleared by the league, and Best failed to have the trip signed off by the NRL.

To get ahead of some questions, Bradman Best is unavailable this weekend as he is required to isolate from the team bubble for seven days as a precautionary measure after breaching NRL Apollo protocols by visiting his parents’ home over the weekend.

On Bradman Best, it would have been okay if the 18-year-old met his parents at a cafe or at his house. But he needed clearance to enter someone else's home. He visited on Sunday morning, not realising full details of the relaxed bubble. Has to stay away from team for 7 days. #NRL

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Newcastle claimed there had been “some confusion” over the change to the protocols, with Best not realising he had to gain approval.

“(Best) is required to isolate from the team bubble for seven days as a precautionary measure after breaching NRL Apollo protocols by visiting his parents’ home over the weekend,” the Knights said in a statement.

“The NRL announced several changes to the protocols on Saturday which caused some confusion.

“The changes stated players can be approved to visit family members who do not live in their household however Best did not have his visit signed off by NRL Apollo.

“To his credit, Best reported his mistake to the club’s COVID co-ordinator who shared the information with the NRL.”

As a result, Best has been forced to stay away from the team’s bubble for seven days, and will therefore miss the trip to Townsville.

It means he won’t return to team training until next week, with Enari Tuala to take his spot at centre. Best will need to undergo testing before he can return to training.

Bradman Best has scored six tries for the Newcastle Knights since making his NRL debut in 2019.Source:Getty Images

READ MORE: NRL team lists for round 7

The news comes as a blow to the Knights, given Best has scored five tries in four games this year and set up a lethal combination with Kalyn Ponga on the left edge.

Earlier this season, Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall was spotted breaching the NRL’s strict coronavirus restrictions after giving Channel 7 reporter Michelle Bishop a peck on the cheek.

NRL superstars Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Nathan Cleary were also infamously caught ignoring social distancing protocals in April, each copping a fine.

Best will almost certainly return for the round eight clash against the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday, July 5th.

The Knights are currently second on the NRL ladder, while the Cowboys are coming off three consecutive losses.

— With AAP

Cowboys vs Knights, Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Saturday, June 27th at 3pm

Cowboys: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Connelly Lemuelu 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh Mcguire 9. Reece Robson 10. Francis Molo 11. Mitchell Dunn 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Ben Hampton 15. Gavin Cooper 16. Peter Hola 17. Reuben Cotter 18. Tom Opacic 19. Shane Wright 20. Jordan McLean 21. Jake Granville

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Kurt Mann 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. Tim Glasby 14. Tex Hoy 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Herman Ese’ese 17. Aidan Guerra 18. Brodie Jones 19. Tautau Moga 20. Phoenix Crossland 21. Pasami Saulo

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