The Chronicle

Munster on last chance at Storm


CAMERON Munster has been threatened with the sack, placed on a booze ban and sent to rehab as the Melbourne Storm’s white powder trio were put on notice for disgracing the game.

Munster, Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis will miss the opening round of the 2022 NRL season and face more than $200,000 in fines and having their contracts ripped up if they further transgress.

The NRL fined Munster ($30,000), Smith ($15,000) and Lewis ($4000) on Tuesday after an Integrity Unit investigat­ion into a series of videos that surfaced last week.

The Storm followed up the NRL’s sanctions with their own penalties and threats.

After a number of off-field indiscreti­ons, Munster has been placed on his final chance at Melbourne and will immediatel­y enter a four-week rehabilita­tion facility to deal with a “difficult relationsh­ip” with alcohol.

He has also been placed on a 12-month booze ban and has a $100,000 suspended fine hanging over his head, with Storm CEO Justin Rodski admitting the Queensland Origin five-eighth was on his last chance. Smith ($50,000) and Lewis ($10,000) were also issued suspended fines.

“I’ve had a difficult relationsh­ip with alcohol in the past,” Munster said.

“I thought I’d dealt with this issue but I clearly still have some hurdles to overcome.

“I want you to all know I am working on that. Starting tomorrow, I will be attending a treatment facility for the next four weeks.

“I’ve let a lot of people down and will do whatever it takes to restore your faith in me. Hopefully you will see by my actions I am dedicated to change.

“I am so sorry.” Rodski said Munster was on his final warning at the Storm.

“I think you could take from this that he is (on his last chance),” he said.

The NRL’s one-game bans have been met with criticism for being too lenient while most of the Storm’s proposed penalties will not be enacted unless the players further transgress.

The players were not able to be drug tested due to the NRL’s policy and told the Integrity Unit they were unaware what the substance in the videos was.

“This is not a farce, it’s a serious situation the club is dealing with and has imposed significan­t sanctions on the players,” Rodski said.

“The club is not permitted to drug test the players. Drug testing is done by the NRL, that is part of the players’ agreement.

“We’ve put together what we believe are really important actions and sanctions for the players.”

Smith added: “I know I am a good person with a good heart but I know these are just words. I don’t want you to judge me on my words but my actions moving forward from this.”

 ?? ?? Cameron Munster.
Cameron Munster.

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