Penrith hooker Api Koroisau has opened up about his pair of Covid breaches that saw him handed a two-game suspension as well as a $35,000 fine.
The league confirmed these penalties on Friday night after issuing Koroisau with a Breach Notice.
"The Notice proposes Koroisau is fined $35,000 and suspended for 2 matches to be served immediately."
After expressing that the league would offer support to the Koroisau family, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said that further security measures had been implemented so as to avoid yet another breach.
“All club hotels, under quarantine orders, are currently fenced off from the public and patrolled by security 24 hours a day,’’ he said.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure there is no breach of the protocols and to keep the Queensland community safe.
“The environment has rapidly changed since this breach and players understand the consequences of failing to comply with the protocols.”
In a public statement issued after his punishment was made known, the 28-year-old explained his remorse for his actions following reports that the rake twice brought a woman inside the New South Wales Origin bubble.
The woman in question has since been identified as someone other than his wife, Amy.
“I made the choice to do the wrong thing and my actions have brought shame and embarrassment to many people, especially my wife and children. I will be forever sorry," Koroisau's statement began.
“I sincerely apologise to the NRL, NSW Rugby League, Panthers, the sponsors and stakeholders, and all my teammates for letting you down.
“I apologise to the fans for putting our game at risk, particularly at such a challenging time for so many people."
The Fijian international also expressed his regret towards his wife and children.
“I apologise to my wife Amy for the pain I have caused. I’ve hurt you and the girls with my selfish, thoughtless actions," Koroisau continued.
“I’m determined to become a better partner, father and protector, and hopefully rebuild trust, and earn back your love and our family.
“I will work hard every day moving forward to show my wife, my children, my team and the Rugby League community that I am not defined by my mistakes and I will grow from this.”
The hooker's wife also also spoke publicly within said statement.
“While there have been some painful lies and misrepresentation in certain media reports, I don’t think it is in the best interests of our family to engage with it," Amy Koroisau stated.
“Api is a great dad and although this has hurt me immensely I have no doubt he will put the necessary strategies in place to learn from this and better who he is.”
Said report suggested the pair had met and engaged in conversations via the social media app Instagram.
Brittany Chain of The Daily Mail also claimed that the woman contacted Koroisau's wife to make the situation known to her.
Although Koroisau will miss the Panthers' next pair of clashes against Brisbane and Melbourne respectively, club coach, Ivan Cleary suggested that the revelations would not sidetrack his high-flying side.
“It’s certainly been a year of challenges anyway and these things come along… it’s never a straight line in trying to be successful so we’ll deal with this pretty much like any other bump in the road,” Cleary said.
Penrith are set to face Brisbane at 7:35pm AEST on Saturday night.