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NRL: Christian Welch statement

The National Rugby League (NRL) today issued Melbourne Storm player Christian Welch with a breach notice for failing to comply with the game’s biosecurity protocols.

The breach notice proposes Welch be fined $20,000, $10,000 of which will be suspended, after an unregistered guest was invited into the Melbourne Storm residences on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday night.

The club has advised the NRL Welch will not be permitted to play in tonight’s match against the Wests Tigers. Welch will be permitted back into the Club bubble providing satisfactory completion of COVID-19 testing.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo reminded all players and officials to comply with biosecurity protocols for the remainder of the season.

"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."

The NRL thanks both the player and the Melbourne Storm for their swift response and cooperation in this matter.

Welch has five working days to respond to the notice.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.