MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Christian Welch of the Storm warms up during the round 19 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Manly Sea Eagles at AAMI Park on July 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The NRL has handed Melbourne Storm player Christian Welch a $20,000 fine after breaching the league’s biosecurity guidelines.

Welch had invited an unregistered guest into the Storm’s bubble residence on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday evening.

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The 26-year-old will not feature for the club in Saturday night’s clash against Wests Tigers and will return to his side’s residence after retiring a satisfactory COVID-19 test result.

Half of the $20,000 fine will be suspended, with the club revealing a statement on their website.

League CEO Andrew Abdo gave the entire NRL playing group a reminder of the strict guidelines that must be followed to allow the 2020 season to continue.

“Complying with the protocols is absolutely critical to our season. The protocols ensure we protect the safety of our players, staff and the community,” he said.

“Any player or official who breaches the protocols will face a significant fines. The overwhelming majority of our players and officials have done the right thing throughout a very challenging season. It is critically important that compliance continues.”

Welch will have five working days to respond to the breach notice.