Bulldogs duo Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera are set to face “heavy penalties” as the pair await charges after being stood down for breaching the league’s code of conduct.
Channel 9’s Danny Weidler added further details on Wednesday for the Bulldogs pair, with sanctions for the schoolgirl scandal set to be handed down in the near future.
“The two players’ circumstances are different. I’ve been told only one of the players met the girl on a school visit – that’s Jayden Okunbor,” Weidler told Big Sports Breakfast.
“Corey Harawira-Naera met a schoolgirl independently of the situation.”
Canterbury coach Dean Pay and featuring chief executive Andrew Hill were present at a press conference hosted by the club, but refused to comment on any questions surrounding the scandal while the investigation remained ongoing by the NRL’s Integrity Unit.
Okunbor and Harawira-Naera met with two schoolgirls during a pre-season trip to Port Macquarie earlier this month and proceeded with consensual sex at the team hotel.
The pair at the centre of the scandal have been handed with show-cause notices by the league following the clubs decision to self-report the incident to the game’s governing body.
Hill confirmed further details of the pairs decision to bring the girls back to the hotel.
“First, the matters that are the subject of the ongoing NRL disciplinary process occurred during the recent visit to Port Macquarie,” Hill said during the press conference.
“Second, I can confirm that the breaches do relate to players bringing young females of a consensual age back to the team hotel. The club wishes to reiterate that while neither player is the subject of a current police investigation, these are very concerning matters that the club has treated very seriously.”
Neither player has been subject to a criminal investigation, however have been asked to show-cause to the league why they should not face suspension or bans to their player registrations.
“They did breach team policy by bringing girls back to the room,” Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Chammas told Triple M’s Rush Hour with MG.
“In terms of the Bulldogs, they set these guidelines out for the players that they weren’t to bring females back to the room.
“The girls were in high school, but they were of legal age, however, the club made the moral judgment this was against what they stood for and decided in consultation with the NRL that they’d stand them down.
“This came to the Bulldogs on Friday and there’s been a series of interviews with the people involved since then and they’ve decided to take this course of action.”
The Bulldogs added comments to the situation after releasing a statement that read:
“The Bulldogs referred the matter to the NRL Integrity Unit after receiving concerning reports of alleged misconduct by the two players. The club also initiated its own internal review.
“While neither player is the subject of a criminal investigation, the club is treating the matter very seriously. The allegations are that each player engaged in behaviour that represents a serious breach of the NRL rules and the Bulldogs’ code of conduct, resulting in the NRL notice.
“The club supports the NRL’s decision to issue the breach notices and will continue to work with the NRL to conclude the process.
“Both players have an opportunity to respond to the matters alleged in the breach notice before any final decision is made.”
The Bulldogs will be without the pair against rivals Parramatta this week, with Harawira-Naera having been expected to line up in the Bulldogs back-row while Okunbor was seen to be a chance of winning a spot on Pay’s wing.