Concerned teammates are keeping in contact with suspended Sydney Roosters star Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Kenny-Dowall has been stood down indefinitely by the Roosters as he waits to front a Sydney court on June 21 on a drug possession charge.
He was reportedly close to securing a lucrative deal to join Newcastle from next season when allegedly caught with almost half a gram of cocaine at a nightclub late last week.
"I've sent him a few messages," said Roosters captain Jake Friend on Tuesday. "Obviously it's a tough time. He's alright. "You feel for him. You know what it's like to be put up in the public eye. Shaun has to deal with that now."
Roosters coach Trent Robinson addressed the playing group on the issue on Tuesday as a number of players returned to training following a week away in representative camps.
As well as concern for the ex-Kiwi centre, Friend admitted he was disappointed about any impact it may have on the Roosters as a team and club.
"It's never good to have the club highlighted like this," Friend said.
"It's tough, you want Shaun to be okay. His welfare is very important at this time. "You feel for him in that aspect but obviously there is some disappointment around in that aspect."
Friend declined to discuss his feeling about Kenny-Dowall being stood down by the club before the matter was dealt with in court.
Nor did he want to comment on whether the league needed to implement tougher punishments to help stamp out illicit drugs incidents.
Kenny-Dowall was one of four players plus one official to find themselves in embroiled in drugs scandals in recent days.
Cronulla chairman Damian Keogh was charged with illicit drug possession on Friday night while one of his club's under-20s players faces a similar charge from a separate incident early Sunday morning.
Melbourne's Jesse Bromwich and Gold Coast's Kevin Proctor have been banned from New Zealand's World Cup campaign over an alleged illicit drugs incident in Canberra following the Test loss to Australia. Neither faces a police charge.
Rugby league legend Peter Sterling has called for the NRL to take a tougher stand over illicit drugs.
Sterling said he didn't understand the thinking behind a free first strike policy for players testing positive for illicit drugs.
"If you ask every player who plays in the NRL whether it's okay to take drugs, every one of them will say 'of course not," Sterling said on Triple M show the Dead Set Legends.. '"So if you get caught you know you've done the wrong thing, you should cop a harsh penalty because the damage it does to our brand is immeasurable in some ways.
"I think that the punishment should be commensurate with the damage done.
"Our players are better educated than they have ever been, so it just doesn't wash with me, that 'I made a mistake (excuse).'
"I'm over it, I think 12 games (suspension) first offence and then second offence, two years, (and for) performance-enhancing, four years.
"I just think that you've got to draw a line in the sand, the game has got to make a stand."