Footy star Beau Ryan DEFENDS NRL players who had a wild house party during Covid

Footy star Beau Ryan DEFENDS NRL players who had a wild house party during Covid
Footy star Beau Ryan DEFENDS NRL players who had a wild house party during Covid

NRL superstar Beau Ryan has defended a dozen players who broke Sydney's Covid-19 lockdown rules and had a wild house party.

St George Illawarra player Paul Vaughan and his wife Elle invited 11 teammates to their Shellharbour home south of Sydney on Saturday night.

The cops were called due to a noise complaint and issued $1000 fines to all 13 people, including Corey Norman, Zac Lomax, Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Kaide Ellis, Blake Lawrie, Matt Dufty, Daniel Alvaro, Tyrell Fuimaono, Gerard Beale and Josh Kerr. 

Dragons players were slammed as 'selfish and stupid' by furious NRL officials, but Ryan - who used to play for the Sharks and the Wests Tigers - stood up for the team on Monday morning and claimed they simply 'made a mistake'.

Pictured: Paul Vaughan with his wife Elle were accused of hosting a barbecue with 11 Dragons teammates on Saturday

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Pictured: Paul Vaughan with his wife Elle were accused of hosting a barbecue with 11 Dragons teammates on Saturday

'Look, I can see both sides here because the NRL players are in a bubble,' he told Studio 10's Angela Bishop.

'They’re in their own little world, they're all isolating together, they played a game four hours earlier.'

'They're on buses together, they're on the field together, they're training. So they've gone back to a player's house and they've had a barbecue.' 

The NRL's Covid bubble keeps players under strict lockdown to ensure no one becomes infected and stops games being played.  

Ryan said the issue was that prying neighbours likely saw the party and felt frustrated at the players for flouting the rules.

Beau Ryan (pictured) said the team 'made a mistake' while speaking with Angela Bishop on Monday

Beau Ryan (pictured) said the team 'made a mistake' while speaking with Angela Bishop on Monday

Beau Ryan (pictured with his partner) used to play for the Sharks and the Wests Tigers

Beau Ryan (pictured with his partner) used to play for the Sharks and the Wests Tigers

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All residents of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast and are banned from visiting friends' homes until Covid restrictions end on July 9.

While Ryan said the fines were not enough of a punishment, he explained the 12 men are unlikely to be suspended because the NRL only has access to 30 players in the sport's Covid bubble.

'If you suspend the players, then they're at risk of not fielding a team the next week. If they don't field a team, there's not enough games and they don't get the TV rights money,' he said.

He explained the situation has left NRL officials 'scratching their heads' wondering how to penalise properly, and guessed at 'big financial penalties' by the NRL.

'I think the big problem here for the Dragons is they're going to be deducted points ... because they've put the whole game at risk.'

The team is currently positioned at number seven. If they lose two points, as Ryan predicted, it could cost them the season. 

St George Illawarra star Paul Vaughan and his wife Elle have been issued with $1,000 fines after allegedly holding a house party at their Shellharbour home

St George Illawarra star Paul Vaughan and his wife Elle have been issued with $1,000 fines after allegedly holding a house party at their Shellharbour home

Co-host Tristan MacManus (pictured with Angela Bishop) piped up and asked if the situation would have been handled differently if the party had been held in the sports club

Co-host Tristan MacManus (pictured with Angela Bishop) piped up and asked if the situation would have been handled differently if the party had been held in the sports club

But co-host Tristan MacManus piped up and asked if the situation would have been handled differently if the party had been held in the sports club and after Saturday's game, rather than at Vaughan's home.

'Would the club have said "sorry guys, we can't have a party here, because lockdown"?' he asked.

'I understand the bubble thing and I can see it from both sides, but I have a kid who couldn't have their birthday party for the same reasons.

'There's too many things that stink of hypocrisy. I don't have anything against this team but there should be suspensions - the club should be hit hard.'

Ryan said 'it's going to happen', but remained tight-lipped about the comments. 

The alleged breach of restrictions sparked separate investigations by police and the NRL's Integrity Unit.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo warned on Sunday that the players could face 'significant' sanctions, which could include missing games and further fines. 

'I'm disappointed, to be honest I'm gutted. We're all working hard to keep the game going so we expect more from the players,' he told Fox

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