NRL player Dylan Napa has earned yet another nomination for The Frownlow Medal, this time for something as simple as a COVID breach. Napa and Bulldogs teammates Brandon Wakeham and Aaron Schoupp breached NRL protocols when they visited a pub in Bondi, and fans feared they could send the entire NRL and State of Origin into lockdown.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
Fortunately, the second game of Origin is still scheduled for Sunday night, but the Canterbury trio have been forced to self isolate and undertake a COVID-19 test.
The Bulldogs players visited Royal Hotel in Bondi in contravention of a directive from the NRL that staff and players must stay away from the Waverley Local Government area, where the latest COVID outbreak originated. One of the people who has tested positive to coronavirus visited the Royal Hotel.
Wakeham and Schuopp earn their first Frownlow nominations, but Napa is well known to judges. He was nominated in 2016, 2017 and 2019. His highlight reel includes being banned from Queensland Origin camp for 12 months after breaking curfew, and being kicked off a flight for intoxication. He also got knocked out by a drug-addicted cleaner at a party in Palm Beach, Sydney, and a video of him having sex with a woman was posted all over the internet. Compared to these incidents, a simple COVID breach is quite mild. Napa will have to lift his game.
Napa, Wakeham and Schoupp are hoping all COVID restrictions are lifted by the end of the year, so they can attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.