Cleary should now be banned for the season, says deputy premier

The NRL is again investigating the entire incident, which initially resulted in a $10,000 fine (60 per cent suspended) and a one-game ban (also suspended).

“I regret doing the video,” Cleary said. “If they fine me more I’ll deal with that at the time. I’m just going to wait and see what happens when I speak to the integrity unit.”

Mr Barilaro, who has been a major supporter of the league’s ambitious plans to resume its competition in late May, believes the consequences should be heavier.

“There’s been a lot of people that don’t believe the NRL should return. And I’ve been a big advocate for its return,” Barilaro said on Sky News on Thursday.

“I’ve been working with the NRL and I’ve put my own name against it. We’ve put in place the protocols and measures that deliver the NRL a start again in May.

“The issue with Cleary is that he has lied and said it was only a small interaction. But, in the end, the Tik Tok social media platform shows it was more than that.

“In my mind, when you get caught out and apologise, you deserve a break. But not when you mislead the public and the NRL.

“I think now, Cleary, should be the end of his season.”

Cleary is one of four NRL players to have been lashed by the league for bringing the game into disrepute, including stars Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell.

The duo, along with Newcastle player Tyronne Roberts-Davis, were punished for a weekend getaway on the NSW mid-north coast.

But despite their indiscretions, Barilaro still backed the league to return.

“I give credit to (ARLC chairman) Peter V’landys and the NRL, to what they’ve put in place, to Wayne Pearce and his team, to get the game going,” Barilaro said.

“We don’t want to let one individual wreck it for everybody.”


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