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Parramatta are awaiting the outcome of a potential COVID-19 breach by young prop Stefano Utoikamanu.

Utoikamanu was seen hugging a group of relatives at the end of his NRL debut game against the Knights on Sunday.

The 20-year-old was overwhelmed by the opportunity after coach Brad Arthur shuffled his personnel late in the game to get Utoikamanu on the field.

“I didn’t see it, but he’s a kid making his debut,” Arthur said of the post-game interaction.

“I had to change a winger to get him on there to give him a carry … 10 seconds… I think the club has talked to him about it. It’s just a reaction – he was excited.”

However, players are strictly not to make physical contact with the public as they attempt to keep the season alive.

An Eels spokesman said the club was waiting to hear from the NRL and that the youngster was surrounded by relatives he lives with.

The NRL will seek advice from their bio-security experts.

“As always we will be guided by the advice of our medical experts,” Head of Football Graham Annesley told the club website.

“We will then be in a position to advise the club and the player of any further action or protocol implications.”


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