NRL hits Staggs with ban, fine for pub incident

The NRL has hit Broncos star Kotoni Staggs with a suspension and a $20,000 fine for his behaviour at a pub over the Easter long weekend.

In a statement released by the NRL this afternoon it was revealed Staggs has now been medically cleared to return from an ACL injury that has kept him out of the 2021 season but will not be permitted to make his comeback until Round 16.

“The sanction was handed down after Staggs engaged in disreputable conduct at a public venue in April this year,” the statement said.

“Staggs has accepted the proposed sanction within the breach notice and has also met with the NRL.”

The sanction comes almost a month to the day since he chose to stick with the Broncos on a lucrative four-year extension, understood to be worth about $700,000-a-season.

Staggs had been a recruitment target for the Eels, but the Sydney club pulled out of the race for his signature days before he inked a deal to stay at Red Hill, choosing instead to focus on their bid to retain Mitchell Moses.

The Broncos have made public their intention to transform Staggs from a strike centre into a running five-eighth, with the 22-year-old tipped to get first shot at the No.6 jersey next season, alongside star halfback Adam Reynolds.

Staggs tore his ACL last September in a regular season loss to the Cowboys and has not played an NRL game since.

The speedster, widely expected to be a future Origin star, has played 47 matches for the Broncos and scored 23 tries since making his debut in 2018.

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