Paul Gallen speaks out after footage emerges of altercation at NSW pub

The former NRL player and boxer was involved in ugly scenes.

Paul Gallen.
Paul Gallen is a commentator for Channel 9 and 2GB. Image: Getty

Paul Gallen has expressed his disappointment after being filmed in an altercation at a pub on the south coast of NSW. The Daily Mail published footage of the incident on Tuesday, showing the former Cronulla Sharks captain and Channel 9 commentator involved in a scuffle.

The incident took place at the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel last Friday night, with Gallen's 2GB colleague Mark Levy attempting to de-escalate the situation. Levy can be heard saying: "Stop it. Enough, enough. Gal, stop" as the former NRL player and boxer scuffles with a number of men.

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Another man can be heard saying "Get the f*** out now", while someone also shouts "Stop your mate". Levy again says: "Stop, stop, enough. Gal, enough."

Another video shows a staff member wiping Gallen's face after he appeared to be left bloodied in the incident. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the 42-year-old said: “I didn’t throw a punch. The video doesn’t show the entire situation. I’m more disappointed for putting myself in this situation.”

Paul Gallen, pictured here during an NRL game in 2023.
Paul Gallen looks on during his commentary duties during an NRL game in 2023. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

In an earlier statement to the Daily Mail he said: "I was involved in an altercation with patrons at the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel last Friday night. The patrons were unknown to me or the group I was with. The video circulating online does not accurately depict the full set of circumstances which included me being struck first. While I did not throw any punches in retaliation I apologise to the owners of the hotel and the other patrons for the incident."

The Mail reports that the altercation occurred after a game of pool in which a cue has broken over a table. Gallen works as a commentator for Channel 9 and 2GB. He is a regular part of the 2GB Continuous Call team alongside Levy.

Discussing the incident on Wednesday, former NRL enforcer Mark Geyer said punters are always looking to antagonise celebrities while on the drink. “Alcohol and testosterone kind of creates the perfect storm as far as trouble goes," he said on Triple M’s 'Mick & MG in the morning'. "Mobile phones are like a loaded gun, and people go looking for it."

Paul Gallen's 21-year professional sporting career

The 42-year-old played 348 games for the Cronulla Sharks, captaining the side to their maiden premiership in 2016. He also played 24 State of Origin games for NSW and 32 Test matches for Australia. He holds the joint record with Cameron Smith for most seasons played in the NRL with 19.

After retiring from the NRL in 2019 he turned his hand to boxing, winning 15 of 18 professional fights with two losses and a draw. He hung up the gloves after victory over fellow former NRL player Justin Hodges in November last year.

"I got the win and not too many people get to go out on a victory, especially in boxing so it was good to do it tonight," he said at the time. "I'm just glad it's all over - I've had enough. I'm 41 going on 42. You've got to slow down at some stage and it's hit me now so it's time to pull the pin."

His only defeats came against Justis Huni and Kris Tervieski for the Australian heavyweight title. He went the distance in both bouts, but lost on points. The highlights of his pugilistic career were a courageous victory over UFC legend Mark Hunt and a stunning first-round knockout of one-time WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne.

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