Brisbane Broncos’ Ezra Mam has accused Sydney Roosters’ Spencer Leniu of using a racial slur towards him during an NRL game in Las Vegas.

Mam, an Indigenous Australian, complained to the referee during Broncos’ 20-10 defeat at Allegiant Stadium, with the NRL now investigating the claim.

Leniu has been charged with breaking the NRL’s behaviour code and will face a judiciary panel, which can make sanctions such as fines and match suspensions.

Samoa international Leniu was told about the allegation during the game by referee Adam Gee and said, “why would I say that?” after being placed on report.

When asked about the incident in a radio interview after the game, Leniu said “nothing” happened, adding: “It’s all just fun and games on the field”.

Spencer Leniu (Getty Images)
Image:Leniu said ‘nothing’ had happened when asked about the accusation after the game in Las Vegas

Broncos players reportedly confronted Leniu at the team hotel after the match when words were exchanged.

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said Mam was “adamant” about what he heard, saying: “Ezra is pretty upset, we will leave that in the hands of the NRL to police and adjudicate on.”

Brisbane’s Reece Walsh told Channel Nine: “It’s disgusting we still have that stuff in our game, and I really feel for one of my good mates. For that stuff to happen, it just takes the shine off us trying to build something over here.”

“It was really disappointing to be talking about something of this nature,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo told AAP. “There is no place for discrimination of any kind. We take it very, very seriously.

“I can’t talk about the specifics of what happened. The player involved has been charged and then referred directly to the judiciary. We will respect that process and won’t make comments.”