The fate of rugby league star Tevita Pangai Jr will be decided when he fronts the Brisbane Broncos board on Friday.
Pangai Jr copped a mammoth $30,000 fine and was stood down by the NRL for breaching the NRL’s strict biosecurity protocols earlier this month.
The 24-year-old will hold a Zoom conference with Brisbane’s board in a bid to prevent his multi-million dollar contract being terminated.
According to The Courier-Mail, the Broncos board is leaning towards immediately tearing up Pangai Jr’s contract, but chairman Karl Morris confirmed the Tonga international would be given a fair hearing.
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Fox Sports reporter James Hooper told NRL 360 on Wednesday: “He’s going to front the board on Friday, that will be done via Zoom because he is in isolation and essentially he’s going to try and convince a split board why they shouldn’t tear up his $650,000 a season contract.”
Sports reporter Mark Gottlieb later tweeted: The Brisbane Broncos board just left Red Hill after a three-hour zoom meeting with Tevita Pangai Jr. Board member. Darren Lockyer said, ‘The process is still ongoing’, but wouldn’t comment further.”
The Australian journalist Brent Read posted: “Been some speculation that Broncos may renegotiate Tevita Pangai’s contract and reduce his pay as a sanction. Concern for Broncos is that the NRL has frowned on that taking place. They don’t generally allow clubs to renegotiate an existing contract and reduce a player’s pay.”
Triple M presenter Ben Dobbin revealed the Broncos would be eager to push for a revised contract.
“He will admit he is wrong and get a restructured contract with some clauses in it.
“If they restructure the deal to a one-year contract in the Broncos favour and he proves to the club that he wants to be there and stays on the field.”
Pangai Jr breached the league’s COVID-19 rules after he was sprung at a barber shop which has links to the Mongols bikie gang, coincidentally on a day police arrived to search the premises.
As reported by The Courier-Mail, the powerhouse forward has since been linked to several gang figures via social media. On Instagram, Pangai Jr reportedly follows several motorcycle gang members, their families and associated businesses.
Meanwhile, Pangai Jr reportedly told the NRL he had received promises of third-party agreements and other payments to the tune of $100,000 — failing to register third-party agreements with the game’s head office is against the league’s rules.
The under-fire Broncos were forced to deny any breach on their part, with chief executive Paul White reportedly ringing the NRL to pledge full co-operation on the matter.
“I’m here to be accountable for my actions. I’ve done the crime and now I’m doing the time. I’m going to enrol myself in a COVID-19 infection course and try and do the right thing, and I’m really sorry to all the people doing the right thing,” Pangai told Fox League last week.
“I owe a lot to the club. I came here as a 19-year-old boy, and they helped me become the person I am today.
“I’ve grown as a person and they’ve stuck by me. I’ve come off contract a few times and could’ve left for more enticing offers down south, but I love living in Brisbane and love the club.”
Last year, Pangai Jr re-signed with the Broncos through to the end of the 2022 season on a three-year deal, reportedly worth around $2 million. He has played 81 games for Brisbane since making his NRL debut in 2016.