Birthday blooper: Broncos legend stood down after pub sesh
A birthday bash for Allan Langer has resulted in another COVID breach, with the Broncos legend and two staff members banned from attending tonight's clash against South Sydney.
Just 24 hours after Wayne Bennett was sin-binned for 14 days, the NRL has placed Broncos trio Langer and conditioning duo Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan on a seven-day COVID Hold for attending a Brisbane pub.
It means the trio have been stood down for tonight's Broncos-Souths clash at ANZ Stadium.
Broncos halfback legend Langer plays a key role as the man who passes on coach Anthony Seibold's messages to players, while Whitley also assists with sideline duties.
Langer and Whitley are the only assistants permitted to travel for away games under the NRL's COVID rules, throwing Brisbane's preparations for tonight's clash at ANZ Stadium into disarray.
Broncos players leave Brisbane on a private charter flight at 3pm with Seibold forced to find two new assistants for the Souths clash.
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The Rabbitohs have already been affected, with head coach Bennett forced to stand down yesterday after he admitted to lunching at an Italian restaurant on Wednesday in the build-up to the Broncos grudge match.
Now Bennett's former halfback general, Langer, is in hot water. It is understood Langer, Whitley and Duncan committed a breach after attending celebrations for 'Aflie's' 54th birthday at the Caxton Hotel last weekend.
The Broncos released a statement confirming the triumvirate have been sent for coronavirus testing.
"Three Broncos staff members will undergo COVID-19 testing after attending a private function in Brisbane," the statement read.
"The club became aware of the matter today involving football staff Allan Langer, Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan, and contacted the NRL immediately.
"As a precaution, those staff have been placed on 'COVID Holds', and will undergo testing before returning to the Project Apollo bubble.
"To adhere to best practice, the staff members won't travel for tonight's game in Sydney against the Rabbitohs."
It is understood Langer held a private function in a private dining area away from other pub patrons.
Only a small gathering were invited for the birthday bash. The Broncos staffers believed they had served a 14-day lockdown after Brisbane's trip to Sydney to play the Wests Tigers on July 17.
But the NRL said the issue wasn't cut-and-dried and took the safe option by asking Langer, Whitley and Duncan to stand down for another week and undergo COVID screening.
Originally published as Birthday blooper: Broncos legend stood down after pub sesh