Cronulla have cleared NRL stars Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes of any wrongdoing after investigating a nightclub incident where they were king hit.
Club chief executive Lyall Gorman said the players were free to line up against St George Illawarra at Shark Park on Sunday, and would face no sanctions after speaking with NSW Police and Coogee Pavilion staff.
It is alleged another patron became aggressive towards a group that included Bird and Holmes, and when the pair walked away to exit the premises on their own accord they were struck from behind.
“We’ve conducted extensive interviews with the venue, police, the players themselves and reviewed CCTV footage,” Gorman said.
“We can clearly say the players have nothing to answer for.
“From the outset there were no allegations against our players. They came under severe provocation, didn’t retaliate and were struck by an agitated patron who was removed by security.”
Gorman said the club had not reviewed CCTV footage but reports from police and the venue cleared his players.
Gorman said the incident highlighted that NRL players were often provoked or the victims of aggression when out drinking or socialising.
He praised the pair for not retaliating and described them as being exemplary in showing restraint.
“It is a risk for players and they do have a very high profile,” Gorman said.
“There are people in the community who, for whatever reason, might want to challenge that profile.
“Their profile can be very positive but there are times when they may come under provocation and we think our players have handled this extraordinarily well.”
The club was only made aware of the incident when contacted by the media on Monday afternoon.
Gorman said while Holmes and Bird had acted accordingly they were spoken to by the club for not bringing it to their attention first.