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Christian Welch Immediately Stood Down By Melbourne Over COVID Breach

Sporting News logo Sporting News 18/09/2020 Chris Danks

Christian Welch is in isolation and has been stood down by the Melbourne Storm after a COVID breach was self-reported to the NRL Integrity Unit overnight.

The Origin forward won’t play against the Wests Tigers on Saturday night after an unregistered guest was invited into the Storm’s bubble on Thursday night

“I’m incredibly remorseful and sorry for my actions,” Welch said in a statement.

“I love this game and everything it has given me and I’m shattered that I have let everyone down.

“Calling my parents to let them know about this was the worst phone call I’ve ever made.

“I know it’s a privilege to play in the NRL and I want to apologise to all for any damage I have caused.”

According to a Storm statement, as of midnight Thursday, everyone in the Storm’s bubble had reverted to non-quarantine protocols, with their 14-day quarantine beginning after the round 17 win over South Sydney on September 4.

Welch has undergone a COVID test and will remain in isolation until the results are known.

Other Storm players and staff are now free to leave the resort, having served their quarantine, provided they continue to comply with NRL and government protocols.

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