8 May 2017

Kiwis' Bromwich and Proctor banned from World Cup

8:43 pm on 8 May 2017

New Zealand Rugby League has banned Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich and teammate Kevin Proctor from playing in the World Cup later this year.

Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich

Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich in action against Australia (file photo) Photo: Photosport

The pair were banned after their involvement in a drugs scandal in Canberra over the weekend, following the Kiwis' test loss to Australia.

Kiwis coach David Kidwell said the pair, who have been accused of purchasing and consuming cocaine, had broken his trust and the trust of their teammates.

"I can't express my disappointment enough in their actions in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"We have values to uphold, they have broken my trust, their teammates' trust and the trust of the New Zealand public," Kidwell said.

New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Alex Hayton said it was important to uphold the values of the game and he backed the decision 100 percent.

National Rugby League (NRL) head Todd Greenberg said this afternoon he was satisfied with the punishment given to Bromwich by the Melbourne Storm.

He has been banned for two games by his Australian team and stood down from the team's leadership group. He was also required to donate his test fee to a charity.

Proctor, who also plays for the Titans, was yet to face sanction from the Gold Coast board. However, he has stepped down from playing duties for the team as well as the co-captaincy.

Kevin Proctor scores for the Kiwis 2016.

Kevin Proctor pictured in action for the Kiwis in 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Both clubs spoke to our integrity unit over the weekend about the parameters of those decisions. Ultimately they're decisions for the clubs," Greenberg told reporters on Monday.

"But we were comfortable with that."

Ahead of the announcement, Checkpoint with John Campbell talked to NRL commentator Ray Warren, who said he would have supported including the pair in the World Cup.

Canberra man charged with supplying

A Canberra man has been charged with supplying the players. Proctor has said he was too drunk to remember the incident and he could not deny the allegations.

Neither player was expected to face police charges, however it was believed the NRL Integrity Unit was awaiting evidence of drug-use that could result in a strike under the game's drug policy.

A player's first positive return will land them a suspended fine with their identity protected, while a second positive test is punished by a 12-match suspension.

Third-time offenders face severe disciplinary action from the NRL.

Greenberg backed the game's current drug-testing procedures but declined to confirm whether the integrity unit had tested either Proctor or Bromwich over the weekend.

"I'm not going to talk publicly about when we drug-test players, and how we drug-test players. But this year we'll complete more than 2500 drug tests," he said.

"That's on top of performance-enhancing drug tests that come through ASADA. We spot-test players, we target-test players, we have done that and will continue to do that."