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Storm's Christian Welch fined for NRL bubble breach

Melbourne prop Christian Welch has been fined $20,000, with half of that suspended, by the NRL for breaking the Storm's biosecurity bubble.

The breach notice issued by the NRL on Saturday came after Welch admitted to inviting an unregistered guest into the team's Sunshine Coast hub on Thursday night.

Welch was stood down by the club on Friday after they informed the NRL of the COVID-19 breach and he will miss Saturday's clash against Wests Tigers.

The State of Origin forward will be permitted back into the Storm's bubble providing satisfactory completion of COVID-19 testing.

"Complying with the protocols is absolutely critical to our season,'' NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said in a statement on Saturday.

"The protocols ensure we protect the safety of our players, staff and the community,''

"Any player or official who breaches the protocols will face a significant fines... It is critically important that compliance continues."

Welch - who was due to return from suspension for a crusher tackle - apologised for his actions, which meant he was unable to train on Friday or play against the Tigers at Sunshine Coast Stadium, leaving coach Craig Bellamy livid.

"I'm incredibly remorseful and sorry for my actions," the 26-year-old said in a statement on Friday.

"I love this game and everything it has given me and I'm shattered that I have let everyone down... I know it's a privilege to play in the NRL and I want to apologise to all for any damage I have caused."