NRL: Kiwi-born Sydney Roosters prop Spencer Leniu charged with racial abuse of Brisbane Broncos' Ezra Mam

Just two games into the new season, and the NRL is facing its first scandal, with one of the game's stars charged with racial abuse.   

Cameras and microphones captured the moment Broncos half Ezra Mam complained to the referee about comments made by Kiwi-born Sydney Roosters prop Spencer Leniu during the competition's much-hyped debut in Las Vegas.  

The bright lights of rugby league made history in Sin City, a place so often synonymous with scandal.   

But allegations of Leniu calling Mam a "monkey" have been hard for most to hear.  

The Indigenous Broncos player claimed that during some push and shove, Leniu made the comment.   

But 23-year-old Leniu says he has nothing to worry about.  

"It's all fun and games on the field," he said. "[I'm] not worried at all."  

On the other side, Broncos coach Kevin Walters and captain Adam Reynolds outlined something was said to Mam.  

Both coach and captain are in disbelief and back their player. 

"He's pretty upset in there," said Walters. "He's adamant."  

"We certainly don't stand for racism," added Reynolds. "We will support Ezra, and make sure he's alright."

It’s understood later at the team hotel, Broncos players confronted Leniu in the hall. Just words were exchanged before Roosters management removed the prop.    

The complaint is now officially in the hands of the NRL, who've since charged Leniu with racial abuse.   

Support for Mam has come fast.   

From teammate Reece Walsh to Rabbitohs rival Latrell Mitchell, while the NRL boss Peter V'landys has reiterated his desire to stamp out racism.  

It's an unwanted sideshow overshadowing the lavish Las Vegas showcase.