Jarryd Hayne and Nene Macdonald have today, as part of a Gold Coast Titans inquiry into events of last weekend, denied any wrongdoing in a Snapchat video that was circulated yesterday to the media.
And they categorically deny any previous affiliation with Chris Bloomfield.
Nene McDonald has advised the club that he had met Chris Bloomfield for the first time earlier that week while he was getting a haircut at the same salon.
Jarryd Hayne informed the club he had never previously met Chris Bloomfield, a former Titans under-20s player, before Saturday, although they have mutual friends.
Jarryd Hayne states the following:
“Over the weekend I was out with a group of players and friends for some end of footy season drinks. There were some people there that I knew and some people there I didn't know, including Chris Bloomfield who I met for the first time.
"As any human would do, I said hello to those I came into contact with and was friendly as normal. I understand Bloomfield filmed a few short Snapchat videos of me rapping to an Eminem song. At the time, I was not aware of this person’s history with the law and alleged bikie affiliations.
"I also want to make it very clear that a comment in the video which suggested I supplied Chris with a large sum of money is not true. This money was not mine.
"This was a prank initiated by Bloomfield and was not intended to be taken seriously. It was also not my voice shouting for a cigarette and I was not involved with any of the offensive comments subsequently added to this video.”
The Gold Coast Titans today began an internal investigation to determine the events of last weekend and circumstances in respect to a video.
The Club’s Board and Management are determined to be open and transparent with our growing base of loyal members and fans, our valued sponsors, our outstanding players, the NRL and the media.
As a result of the interviews we have conducted with senior members of the playing group, including Jarryd Hayne and Nene McDonald, we understand the following occurred.
On 10 September (Saturday afternoon), a group of players and friends including Jarryd Hayne and Nene Macdonald went to a function room at the Gold Coast Turf Club. Chris Bloomfield, who had played under-20s for the Titans with some of the players, joined the group during the day.
After the races, a group of people later went to Nene Macdonald’s home, including Chris Bloomfield.
The Gold Coast Titans Board and Management make no criticism of our players for having end of season drinks, as is the tradition in many other clubs and codes, in a function room and then in a private home. However, the club and our players have learned a powerful lesson from this event. As a direct result the Club will be seeking briefings from senior Gold Coast police involved in the crackdown on bikies. We will put in place a structure so that our players are better equipped to distance themselves from individuals who seek to associate with them.
Unfortunately, this recent event is not isolated to the Gold Coast Titans. The Rugby League Players Association in conjunction with the NRL have been very strong in relation to educating and protecting players from external influences which could reflect badly on them and the game. We are co-operating with the NRL Integrity Unit and the RLPA in this regard.
The Gold Coast Titans have made enormous strides on and off the field and we take how we are perceived very seriously. We have worked very hard to develop a team that this city can be proud of. The events on the weekend should not detract from what has been a very successful 2016.