Furious West Coast launch investigation into players who partied with Tigers stars in a nightclub just before Covid outbreak that shattered team ahead of Lions clash

  • The Eagles slumped to 1-6 for the season after their loss to Richmond
  • It has been a wretched season punctuated by players missing because of Covid
  • Players from the AFL side and WAFL affiliate went out to party at a nightclub
  • It means the club is now battling to field a team and the coach is furious 

A club investigation has been launched by the West Coast Eagles after players were spotted visiting a local nightclub mere hours after being flogged by 109 points.

The Perth-based club are currently in the midst of a Covid nightmare with the virus wreaking havoc on Adam Simpson’s squad this week. 

And now it has emerged that Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham were photographed at Leederville’s Hip-E Club on Saturday night, after Nelson played in a loss to Richmond on Friday and Rotham played in a 55-point defeat to the Peel Thunder in the WAFL.

Tigers players Nathan Broad, Dion Prestia, Liam Baker, Ivan Soldo and Dylan Grimes were also pictured at the venue, which was celebrating Broad’s engagement to fellow West Australian and Love Island star Tayla Damir. 

The Eagles say they’re aware some players went to a Leederville nightclub last Saturday and the club is investigating.

Only 22 AFL-listed players are available for Saturday night’s match against Brisbane, as multiple players and coaches, including a furious head coach Adam Simpson, are in health and safety protocols. 

‘I am furious and disappointed with the actions of these players,’ Simpson said in a club statement.

Simpson and eight players are unavailable for Saturday’s Gabba match against Brisbane because of the virus.

Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham are two players who were caught on camera at the Hip-E Club in Leederville, Perth after their flodding at the hands of Richmond

Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham are two players who were caught on camera at the Hip-E Club in Leederville, Perth after their flodding at the hands of Richmond

It is the second time this season the Eagles have had to call on supplementary list players because COVID-19 has left them short of numbers.

The AFL has given the Eagles until Friday to finalise their team.

‘Given the current environment and the peak in COVID-19 cases in Perth the club is devastated that some players opted to go out publicly as they have done,’ the Eagles said.

‘The club has gone to great lengths in educating the players around the need to adhere to club guidelines and it is beyond disappointing that they have put themselves in this situation.

Richmond Tigers players including Dion Prestia (pictured right) were also spotted at the Perth nightclub after their win over the Eagles

Richmond Tigers players including Dion Prestia (pictured right) were also spotted at the Perth nightclub after their win over the Eagles

‘It is particularly disheartening given the strain on player availability at this stage of the season.

‘At the earliest opportunity the club will meet with the players concerned.’

It comes after Richmond veteran Jack Riewoldt expressed sympathy for the Eagles and said their clash against Brisbane should be postponed after his side destroyed West Coast by 109 points last week.

‘I reckon they’re beyond it (the precipice) at the moment. That injury list there and COVID protocol list. It’s unfair,’ he said on Fox Sports.

‘I think they should (postpone the game). It’s not to their detriment – the reason they’re in this situation is because their government held different border restrictions to the rest of Australia.

‘That’s not West Coast or Fremantle’s fault but now they’re certainly paying a heavy price for it, or certainly West Coast are paying a heavier price than Fremantle so far.

‘They’ve got four blokes that they are going to call from WAFL – not only is it affecting the AFL but then the teams that they’re picking from the Western Australian Football League is affected too.’

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