Tevita Pangai jnr has been suspended by the Broncos for the rest of the season without pay and he will be able to play with the club in 2021 provided he fulfils certain conditions.
While his employment has been terminated, that termination has been suspended for 12 months subject to Pangai fulfilling certain conditions.
The Broncos board met on Monday to finalise the Tongan international’s future after a show-cause hearing on Friday.
Pangai was initially suspended indefinitely by the NRL and fined $30,000 in a breach notice for multiple biosecurity breaches.
Kennedy: Pangai kind of guy we need
The most notable was his visit to a Logan City barbershop with bikie connections on Saturday, August 8.
On Friday the Broncos board was satisfied Pangai was sorry for his actions, which were deemed to be uncharacteristic.
Pangai must fulfil the following conditions to play with the Broncos in 2021:
- He be stood down immediately without pay for the remainder of the 2020 season and as a consequence will be removed from the Project Apollo "bubble";
- He immediately begin a mentoring program with a club-approved mentor for a period of 12 months, with the mentor reporting back to the board on a monthly basis;
- He work in a job organised by that mentor for the remainder of the 2020 season;
- He ceases to participate in social media, as well as ceasing to engage with media unless authorised by the Club;
- He returns to full duties for the 2021 pre-season in mid-November this year in good physical condition.
If Pangai breaches any of the above conditions in the next 12 months the Broncos board can rip up his contract. Conversely if he complies with them the Broncos will allow him to fulfil his current three-year deal worth $2 million.
Earlier a company that specialises in crisis management and protecting reputations was engaged by Pangai to link with various media outlets so he could tell his story and explain his contrition for his actions in a series of interviews.
The 24-year-old won over Broncos board member and four-time premiership winner Darren Lockyer who believed his remorse was genuine and that he could be rehabilitated.
Pangai, who lives with his parents, has spoken about how both his mum and dad are battling illness and that he would not be able to live with himself if he infected them with COVID-19.
NRL.com understands he has given guarantees to the Broncos board and the NRL Integrity Unit that he will in future abide by all Project Apollo guidelines.
Last week Pangai held a Zoom meeting with the Broncos board and his own lawyers where he again stated his case.
Pangai has also received the support of his teammates who have said that while misguided in his actions, that he will learn from them.
"As a mate, it was stupid what he did but everyone deserves a second chance,” Broncos prop Rhys Kennedy said on Monday of Pangai’s actions.
"He is young and I am sure he will learn from something like this. It is a big mistake. Everyone has seen the way it has been handled and I am sure he is going to take something out of this.
"From a football perspective, we need him. He is a talented player. Everyone wants to play next to him. He is one of those blokes who can win games for you."