NRL 2020: Lockdown breakers Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Nathan Cleary put season re-launch at risk

The NRL's bid to resume its season in May is at risk, due to the recklessness of some of the game's biggest stars.

Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Nathan Cleary all broke Australia's strict lockdown rules in the last few days, and that has angered a federal government official.

Australian Youth & Sport Minister Richard Colbeck has told ABC News the incidents have given critics fuel to question the league's ability to follow the protocol measures required to re-launch the season. 

"It's a matter that depends on the performance and the activities of the [NRL] players," Mr Colbeck said. "My view would be that the players have put all that at risk by their actions.

"That's why it is important that the NRL has taken the action it has to send a strong message. It's not acceptable."

Mitchell and Addo-Carr were each fined AU$50,000 by their clubs, and Clearly copped a $10,000 fine for his offence. The NRL also slapped the trio with suspended fines for bringing the game into disrepute, while the integrity unit has now opened its investigation into the two separate incidents. 

Mitchell and Addo-Carr have also been charged with firearm offences, after the latter uploaded social media videos of him shooting a gun.

"It's a serious charge," Colbeck says. "They will be appropriately dealt with by the courts, as they should be.

"I've clearly stated my views that it's a salutary lesson to everybody involved that complying with the law appropriately, but also in the circumstances of COVID-19, is going to be important.

"If people don't, it will jeopardise the opportunity for us to participate in sport and for the codes to recommence."

The final hurdle for the NRL's hopes of a revamped season will come on Friday, when the national cabinet meets to outline the country's return to elite and community sport.

Colbeck says the NRL's issues this week will be a factor.

"All the issues in the public arena will be considered a part of that. The important thing is that people are prepared to comply with the protocols in place and we need a demonstration that will be complied with.

"So the NRL's actions, in that sense, send a strong message to us around their seriousness about it and clearly send a strong message to the players."