AAP Rugby

Pangai bubble breach angers Broncos legend

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane legend Kevin Walters believes Tevita Pangai Jr has shown a lack of respect to his teammates and the embattled NRL club with his COVID-19 protocol breach.

The second-rower has been stood down for 14 days and is under investigation after attending the opening of a Brisbane barber shop on Saturday.

Pangai Jr attended the event despite players being told they were effectively in quarantine under the NRL's biosecurity protocols after Friday's loss to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Walters, a five-time premiership winner at the Broncos, says the 24-year-old's actions are infuriating.

"Tevita Pangai has taken it upon himself to not listen to those rules and put himself above the rules and above the team and above the club, which is extremely disappointing from my perspective and the game's perspective as well," Walters told the Big Sports Breakfast.

"We're all relying on these players to do the right thing ... when rugby league players and sports people, in particular, don't do the right thing it's just really upsetting and disappointing in every respect.

"I'm sure Tevita is waking up today in isolation and wondering how he ever came to that decision to go to the barber shop."

The Broncos are investigating the matter and may yet issue further punishment for Pangai Jr, with police attending the opening amid claims the business has bikie gang links.

There's no suggestion Pangai Jr has done anything illegal but it's a bad look for a club which has slumped to second-last on the ladder after 10 losses from their past 11 matches.

Last week Pangai Jr had to dismiss reports he was shopping himself around to rival clubs after speaking to Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis.

Walters believed if the forward does want out of the Broncos the club should set a marker and let him go.

"If Tevita does want to leave the club, well here's an opportunity for him to get out," Walters said.

"Certainly it's been a horrendous year for the Broncos and this is another part of it.

"His actions indicate that he probably doesn't want to be in the system anyway."