D-Day: Pangai Jnr’s final pitch to save Broncos contract
Tevita Pangai Jr's $2.1 million contract is set to be torn up unless the Broncos forward can deliver a stirring 11th-hour pitch to Brisbane's board to receive a stay of execution at Red Hill.
D-Day has arrived for Pangai Jr, who will hold a Zoom conference with Brisbane's board on Friday in a last-ditch bid to save his career at the Broncos following his series of COVID-related breaches.
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Pangai Jr's showdown with the Broncos executive comes as chairman Karl Morris slammed any suggestion Brisbane are rorting the salary cap after revelations the NRL integrity unit interviewed the Tongan Test star on Monday.
NRL integrity-unit officers probed Pangai Jr over claims the forward was owed up to $100,000 by the Broncos for third-party deals and other arrangements that were allegedly not registered with salary-cap auditors.
Broncos chief executive Paul White has complied fully with the NRL integrity unit, but the more immediate concern for Pangai Jr is whether he will still have a contract at Brisbane next season.
Pangai Jr will be represented at the meeting by lawyer Simon Tolhurst.
The 24-year-old last week spoke of his contrition, appealing for the Broncos not to sack him after being hit with two show-cause notices for alleged multiple breaches of the NRL's strict COVID guidelines.
Aside from his bikie barber-shop saga, Pangai Jr confessed to three other COVID breaches involving visits to restaurants and a junior football game with his good mate, former Wallabies star Quade Cooper.
As a result, Pangai Jr was fined $30,000 by the NRL and stood down from Broncos duties until at least September 8 pending an application to play again.
Now his Broncos career is on the line.
News Corp Australia understands the Broncos board is leaning towards terminating Pangai Jr immediately, but Morris said the forward will be given a fair hearing in his quest for a second chance.
"Tevita gets his opportunity to present his case to the board and we will make a considered decision once he does his presentation," Morris said.
The Broncos chairman vehemently denied Brisbane were guilty of giving under-the-table payments to Pangai Jr.
"There is no salary-cap breach whatsoever," he said.
"There has been a mix-up in Tevita's mind. He raised something about a payment (not being paid) and when I investigated it, it was the NRL marquee marketing fee which has nothing to do with us.
"That (NRL ambassadorship) got withdrawn because of the COVID crisis.
"We are not concerned one bit. We are a publicly listed company with obligations to ASIC, we have to be paranoid about these issues.
"It's brought up regularly at board meetings to make sure we are completely and utterly compliant with all NRL salary cap matters."
Originally published as D-Day: Pangai Jnr's final pitch to save Broncos contract