NRL stars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr have sparked outrage after going on a boys camping weekend during the coronavirus lockdown.
Pictures from the trip show the group of 12 men visiting Mitchell’s farm near Taree, clearing breaking social distancing rules designed to keep the public safe.
The Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm players could seen hanging out in close proximity by a camp fire, not sitting 1.5 metres apart – flouting the health advice.
In a bid to stop the spread of the deadly virus states imposed strict lockdown rules which forbid going out unless it’s for essential reasons, such as going to work, school, exercise or grocery shopping.
The camping trip comes as the NRL brought in biosecurity measures at its 16 clubs to help players stay safe during the pandemic.
They are expected to follow strict coronavirus rules if they want to play when the league restarts on May 28.
NRL stars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr are seen in a group of 12 people on a camping trip – openly flouting social distancing rules designed to keep people safe from COVID-19
NRL stars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr are seen with a large group of friends on the NSW camping trip, despite strict coronavirus rules
Latrell Mitchell (pictured, right, with his partner Brielle Mercy) had a baby daughter just three weeks ago
Other pictures, posted by Addo-Carr on Instagram, show the group shooting and riding motorbikes around the rural farm.
He wrote: ‘Blackfulla adventures Camping with the brothers on Latrell Mitchell’s property in Biripi country, throwing the bikes around and hunting, I’m next to buy a big property I think.’
Some disappointed fans took took to social media to voice their concerns.
‘Isn’t there social isolation in your state and or territory?’ one wrote.
Another added: ‘Good to see the boys give two s***s about social isolation rules, evidently doesn’t apply if you play NRL.’
The property is in New South Wales, which has strict social distancing rules banning gatherings of more than two people.
Addo-Carr posted several pictures of the trip to Instagram (pictured), explaining the group were enjoying ‘throwing the bikes around and hunting’
Mitchell had a baby daughter (pictured), Aleena, with his partner just three weeks ago
Latrell Mitchell (pictured, left) and Josh Addo-Carr (centre) are seen with team mate Cody Walker as the trio played in the State of Origin series in 2019
They were also seen riding motorbikes without wearing helmets.
Under NRL rules, clubs face fines and could even lose competition points if players flout COVID-19 rules.
Just three weeks ago, Mitchell had a baby daughter, Aleena, with his partner Brielle Mercy.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the NRL for comment.
Storm CEO Dave Donaghy told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I wasn’t aware of this photo.
‘I’ve not spoken to Josh for a while. I can’t provide any context to it.
‘Our players have been absent from the club since the season was suspended late last month, but when they are back on deck for the recommencement of the season they’ll be fully briefed regarding the protocols being implemented by the NRL and clubs.’
Josh Addo-Carr (pictured, left) showed off pictures of their boys’ weekend, riding motorbikes and hunting on a rural property
Josh Addo-Carr (pictured, left) and Latrell Mitchell (right) have played together for the NSW Blues
Players are due back at training on May 4, having stopped during the pandemic.
The NRL suspended its season on March 23, as the coronavirus crisis shut down sporting leagues across Australia.
At the time, ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys said the league could ‘no longer guarantee the safety of players’.
‘We aren’t (yet) going to put a time period to the suspension,’ he told a press conference in Sydney.
‘We are going to look at every available option to us in the next week or so as to how we can recommence the season, be it in other areas, be it in north Queensland.’
The league is now set to restart on May 28, a move slammed by some players.
The players enjoyed a day at the beach riding bikes, despite coronavirus rules stating people can only be out for essential reasons
Latrell Mitchell (pictured, right) and Josh Addo-Carr (left) are seen in a team training session at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence field in Sydney on May 30 2019
Former Wallabies star Peter FitzSimons said it was ‘absolute madness’ for the league to start playing games again , claiming the league was benefiting from special treatment from the NSW government.
The ex-Wallaby questioned the logic that funerals were still limited to a maximum of ten people but NRL players could be in close contact with each other before going home to their families.
But NRL star Sandor Earl hit out at the criticism, saying players were taking ‘special measures’ to ensure they didn’t mix in the community.
Unfortunately, it is one of his Melbourne Storm teammates – Addo-Carr – who was seen at the large camping trip – going against Earl’s assertion.
‘As players we will literally be bound to our room, whether that’s accommodation in a hotel or our own houses, to training and then back,’ the 30-year-old said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday.
‘I feel like there was a bit of misguided information…a little bit of lack of knowledge and understanding around that area and the point was also brought up about five people at funerals and how it’s not fair for other people.
‘I think that’s a really bad example and a really bad link.’
He said a better comparison was with the hundreds of workers on high-rise construction projects who were mingling with each other and their communities.
‘With sports and athletes we’re talking about very strict isolated measures to be able to train and play,’ he said.
The Melbourne Storm winger (pictured) said even if players were kissing or hugging each other they wouldn’t be spreading the virus if they remained isolated together as a group