NRL players and staff have been forced to isolate from partners and family members who have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests to protect the ‘bubble’.
NRL players and staff have been forced to isolate from partners and family members who have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests to protect the ‘bubble’.

WAGs threaten NRL bubble after racism protests

Cronulla Sharks star Andrew Fifita's wife has moved out of the family home as a COVID-19 precaution after attending last weekend's Black Lives Matter protest march in Sydney.

The giant prop posted photos on Instagram of wife Nikki at the march, attracting concerns from NRL and Sharks management about a possibility of the virus spreading among the tens of thousands of protesters.

Nikki's decision to move in with family has eradicated any chance Andrew - living in a clean biosecurity bubble - could contract the virus and jeopardise Cronulla's match against St George Illawarra this Sunday night at Campbelltown.

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Andrew Fifita’s partner Nikki has moved out from their home to keep Fifita in the bubble. Picture: Instagram.
Andrew Fifita’s partner Nikki has moved out from their home to keep Fifita in the bubble. Picture: Instagram.

Given symptoms can take seven days to emerge, Nikki and her young family - including sons Latu Jay and Laynz Jayel along with daughter Lyla Jade - were advised to move out of their Sutherland Shire home until this Sunday.

Nikki was tested for COVID on Tuesday, her test returning a negative result.

"However, as a precaution, she has had to separate from Andrew for seven days until Sunday," said a Sharks spokesman.

The Daily Telegraph has been told other wives, partners and children of NRL players also attended the march.

Tariq Sims' wife Ashleigh attended the march 24 hours before the Dragons played on Sunday. Sims is now out injured for up to six weeks with a wrist injury.

It's unknown whether the Sims saw each other before the Dragons match, but the Dragons are aware of the situation and are investigating.

The NRL issued an edict to clubs last week stating that if any member of a family marched, the "player or staff member must remove themselves from the household."

Tariq Sims’ wife Ashleigh also attended protests before the Dragons game on Monday afternoon. Picture: Supplied.
Tariq Sims’ wife Ashleigh also attended protests before the Dragons game on Monday afternoon. Picture: Supplied.

NRL management was reluctant to force wives, partners or children to move out of home, rather asking players to shift.

"All clubs were advised that if a household member of players or staff attended a rally the player or staff member must remove themselves from the household until Sunday in order to continue participating in training or attending matches," said an NRL spokesman.

The NRL will continue to monitor over the next 24 hours whether any other relatives of players marched. If detected, the player will be immediately isolated before round five kicks off.

No other Sharks family member was believed to be at the march.

Cronulla initially spotted Fifita's photos on Instagram and reported the matter to the NRL integrity unit.

Fifita, returning from a calf injury, has been named at prop for the big game against a desperate Dragons side.

Former Sharks player Cruz Topai-Aveai, 21, was caught jumping on a police vehicle, shouting at police and grabbing the bull bar of a reversing police car in the Brisbane march.

Originally published as WAGs threaten NRL bubble after BLM protests


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