MELBOURNE (Reuters) - New Zealand rugby league international Benji Marshall’s week went from bad to worse on Wednesday when he was quarantined from his Wests Tigers team mates for breaching social distancing protocols by kissing a reporter.
The veteran halfback, who was sensationally dropped by Wests on Tuesday for the weekend’s match against Canberra, fell foul of the National Rugby League’s strict biosecurity rules when he greeted a television reporter with a peck on the cheek at training at St Luke’s Park in Sydney.
“Marshall was involved in a social distancing incident with an accredited reporter, which was immediately reported to the NRL as per guidelines,” Wests said in a statement.
“Under those guidelines, Marshall will remain at home tomorrow — which is a scheduled day off for Wests Tigers NRL squad — while the reporter undergoes a COVID-19 test.
“Assuming a negative result is returned, no further action will be required by Marshall or Wests Tigers.”
Seven Network reporter Michelle Bishop tweeted: “Just goes to show you, we can all get caught up in life and forget what kind of world we are living in at the moment. Off to be tested.”
Marshall will not be allowed to return to the club until Bishop’s test result is confirmed, the NRL said.
After a 10-week pause due to the novel coronavirus shutdown, the NRL resumed in late-May with teams and players banned from mixing with people outside their clubs, households and families to reduce the risk of infections.
Sydney side Canterbury were handed a A$25,000 (£13,710) suspended fine for a biosecurity breach last week after a former player visited training and shook hands with squad members.
(This story has been refiled to fix headline to ‘Marshall’s’)
Editing by Robert Birsel