'Sad' reality facing Dugan after second COVID breach

2 months ago 13
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NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler says it's "sad" that the behavioural issues that dogged Josh Dugan at the start of his career are still proving an issue over a decade later, as the Cronulla Sharks star faces allegations of a second COVID breach amid Sydney's current lockdown.

The NRL integrity unit is investigating claims Josh Dugan breached NSW health orders and the league's biosecurity protocols on Friday.

Dugan and another man are facing fines of up to $10,000 after they were pulled over in the NSW town of Lithgow - 150 kilometres from their places of residence.

Dugan was instructed by police to turn back and return to the Sutherland Shire but was caught again 40 minutes later driving away from Sydney.

Josh Dugan (Getty)

The Sharks contacted the integrity unit after finding out about the incident this morning. Dugan was left in Sydney while the rest of the Sharks squad relocated to Queensland for the remainder of the season.

It's the second COVID strike against Dugan after the centre was fined $25,000 by the NRL last month for breaking the code's protocols.

Fittler said it was "sad" to see the same behavioural issues that have dogged Dugan throughout his time in the NRL, continue into the autumn of his career.

"It's a bit sad I think," NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler said.

Sharks player Josh Dugan. (Getty)

"The things around behaviour that challenged Josh at the start of his career are still challenging him at the end of his career.

"I suppose we've got to wait and see what his excuse is and how he's going to appeal, but, yeah, he hasn't learnt."

NSW Police confirmed to News Corp that two men are expected to be charged for the alleged breach.

"The men allegedly weren't wearing masks and checks revealed they were from Gymea and Alexandria," a police spokesman said.

Josh Dugan (Getty)

"The driver allegedly told police they were moving to the area and were going to feed animals, however later admitted they were heading to a friend's house for the weekend.

"They were directed to return home. About 40 minutes later, officers detected the same vehicle travelling away from Sydney towards Yetholme. The men were stopped and again directed to return to their homes. Charges are expected to be laid."

Dugan is planning to fight the allegations.

The Cronulla Sharks have refused to comment while the matter is ongoing.

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