Newcastle utility Caitlin Moran will take the field against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday despite being investigated by the NRL integrity unit for an offensive social media post referencing the Queen’s death.
Moran, a former Jillaroos representative and Indigenous All Star, has since been forced to delete the Instagram post, which featured a picture of Queen Elizabeth II.
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“Todays a good fkn day, uncle Luke announces his tour, and this dumb dog dies Happy fkn Friday,” the post read.
She deleted the comment from her Instagram story approximately eight hours after posting it.
It is understood Moran will meet with the integrity unit next week, allowing her to take the field at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
“The NRL became aware of the post on Friday 9 September,” an NRL spokesperson said.
“The Newcastle Knights were contacted immediately and inquiries commenced by the NRL Integrity Unit.”
Radio presenter Ray Hadley described the social media post as “perhaps the most reprehensible thing ever seen connected to rugby league”.
“I agonized over whether it should be revealed,” he told 4BC.
“If she plays tomorrow it will be a disgrace of monumental proportions.”
Moran was originally named to come off the bench, but will start at full back in place of Tamika Upton, who is a huge out for the Knights.
The 25-year-old wasn’t selected for the opening two rounds of the competition but made her season debut in last week’s two-point win over Parramatta.
The halfback had previously played for Australia in the 2017 World Cup but has yet to feature in the national competition, having suffered an ACL injury in 2018.
The drama sets up a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash between the two sides, with four former Roosters lining up for the Knights with the minor premiership on the line at Allianz Stadium.
Meanwhile, the AFL women’s competition has opted not to honor the Queen with a minute’s silence before its matches this weekend despite angry backlash to the move.
Her Majesty’s passing was acknowledged before the men’s semi-finals on Friday and Saturday nights, but the AFLW backflipped on a plan to follow suit because it is celebrating the Indigenous Round.
The women’s league did observe a minute’s silence before its opening game of the round, a Friday night clash between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle.
But the Bulldogs said it was “insensitive” and supported the league’s decision to abandon the ceremony for the remaining eight games.
Bulldogs director Belinda Duarte said the minute’s silence “imposed a reflection on the impact of (The Queen’s) life and reign” and “unearthed deep wounds”.
“While for many Australians it’s seen as appropriate to recognize the significance of the Queen’s passing, we must understand what this brings up for First Peoples, the impact of colonization and what the monarchy represents to us and our families,” the Wotjobaluk and Dja Dja Wurrung woman said.
But many – including Indigenous elder Ian Hunter – thought the decision was wrong.
“It is totally disrespectful to our country who is a part of the British colony, disrespectful, that’s what I’d say,” Hunter told the Herald Sun.
Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi described the move as “absolutely pathetic” while Derryn Hinch said it was “an insult to their sport”.