South Sydney Rabbitohs supremo Wayne Bennett is faces up to two weeks out of the coach's box, after unknowingly breaching NRL biosecurity protocols by having lunch at a restaurant with his wife.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bennett ate at a popular Italian restaurant in Western Sydney, contravening the NRL's strict rules on players and team staff not attending cafes, restaurants, clubs or pubs.
The NRL Integrity Unit is investigating the incident, but he is likely to need a COVID-19 test and to self isolate.
If Bennett is forced into isolation, he would miss Friday's grudge match against his former club, Brisbane Broncos, with assistant coach Jason Demetriou taking the reins.
"There wasn't many people there at all," says Bennett. "I was isolated, I had something to eat there with my partner and we were away from everybody, we had lunch and I left.
"If it was a breach, I wouldn't have done it."
Earlier this season, Kiwis captain Benji Marshall was forced to quarantine for two days, after he kissed a reporter on the cheek.
Also, Canterbury Bulldogs forward Aiden Tolman was stood down for two weeks, because a teacher at his child's school tested positive for the virus, while Newcastle Knights star Bradman Best missed a week, after visiting his parents.
Pressed on his understanding of the protocols, Bennett says: "I'm still allowed to eat, aren't I?
"It has been hard to keep up with.You are looking at TV and news programmes, and people live in different parts of Sydney and there is the border stuff.
"I have family in Queensland. We are totally confused about what we can and can't do.
"I go to the kebab shop to get a kebab and there's just as many people there as there were in the restaurant. There wasn’t many [diners] there at all, actually… I was isolated from everybody."
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