NRL player Paul Vaughan will now be known as ‘The Whale’.
Because he’s always breaching.
What’s more, his Shellharbour neighbours now have another whale to spot along the Illawarra coastline.
Ok, yes, it’s a Dad joke, but hey, it’s lockdown, everyone’s going a bit crazy and it’s still not as bad as hosting a house party with your teammates in the middle of a pandemic which could shut down the NRL. The party has earned Vaughan his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal and could result in severe punishment for his St George-Illawarra teammates and possibly the club.
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.
The house party was apparently attended by as many as 15 Dragons players and was thrown after players and staff were all given very strict instructions about socialising and personal movement outside of training and competition. Authorities found out about the party after neighbours apparently filed a noise complaint. News outlets are suggesting that the breach could force the NRL competition to stop, or at least destroy the Dragons’ season.
Vaughan earned his first Frownlow nomination in 2020, for a COVID breach. On that occasion, he signed into a cafe under a false name and was fined $10,000.
The prop will soon find out his punishment for this latest blunder, and whether the Dragons will be able to field a team when they play their next game in a fortnight. Meanwhile, he has offered his Shellharbour home as the venue for the Frownlow awards night later this year.