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  1. #1
    Coach C-Whiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Nerang, Gold Coast

    Default SBW to boycott ANZAC Test

    Exclusive: Sonny Bill Williams set to boycott the Kangaroos-Kiwis Test match
    SUPERSTAR forward Sonny Bill Williams is to boycott the Kangaroos-Kiwis Test match on Friday week in a major blow to ticket sales.

    The Sydney Roosters second-rower is still furious at being implicated in a sleeping pill and energy drink scandal on last year’s World Cup tour in England.

    The Kiwi champion will be out of the country on a short overseas holiday from this Saturday, a day before the Kiwi team is named and players go into camp.

    It was reported in New Zealand after the tour that SBW and his room-mate, Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran, had been identified in an internal investigation.

    They were later cleared of any wrong doing following the probe by the NZRL.

    The fact their names were splashed across the front pages of sports section in New Zealand and Australia infuriated the pair.
    Unnamed players had appeared “dozy and half asleep” but both SBW and Foran have strongly denied any knowledge of the substance use.

    SBW prides himself on his natural fitness and incredible physique.

    His withdrawal is a huge blow for the NRL’s Test promotion which has already seen tickets heavily discounted because of sluggish sales.

    Manly and New Zealand five eighth Keiran Foran is expected to be sidelined for a month with a knee injury he acquired during the Sea Eagles controversial win over the Cowboys on Friday night.

    Foran too is in doubt for the game with a right knee injury suffered last weekend against the Cowboys.

    Previously the NRL has insisted players apply for an exemption to be ruled out of representative football as is the case with Jamie Lyon at Manly.

    As there is no club football on the weekend of the Test, SBW will be free to play again the following weekend.

    The New Zealand rugby league chief executive Phil Holden refused to comment on SBW’s withdrawal on Tuesday.

    Coach Stephen Kearney will hold a telephone hook-up with the media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the selection issues.

    They have yet to be officially informed SBW will not be available.

    It was to be his final Test match in the Kiwi jersey before switching to rugby union.

    Parramatta’s boom forward Manu Ma’u is in strong contention to replace SBW.

    If Foran is ruled out with his knee injury, there has been speculation that Benji Marshall could be recalled to play five-eighth outside Shaun Johnson.

    But Kiwi sources say it is highly unlikely to happen.

    The Australian side will also be named on Sunday night along with the City and Country teams that play in Dubbo on the weekend of the Test match.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator TITAN PETE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Care Factor of Zero

    - - - Updated - - -

    SBW may have played last Test
    By Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent
    6:00am Wed 23rd April, 2014

    New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has given his strongest hint yet that Sonny Bill Williams may be overlooked for next week's Test in Sydney, with his focus already turning to the Kiwis recapturing the World Cup crown in 2017.

    Kearney is currently faced with a couple of major selection headaches with Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran (knee) joining South Sydney hooker Issac Luke (shoulder) and Canterbury back-rower Frank Pritchard (pectoral) as incumbents to have been ruled out through injury.

    The loss of Foran and lack of senior players may yet earn Williams a reprieve despite the fact that he will once again return to rugby union at the end of the season and be unlikely to be part of future New Zealand Rugby League representative teams.

    Thomas Leuluai would have been the obvious replacement for Luke at hooker but with the injury to Foran it may require a more dramatic reshuffle.

    Kearney, who is an assistant coach at the Broncos, may opt to use Josh Hoffman at five-eighth and keep Leuluai at hooker with a host of options available to cover fullback, centre and wing positions.

    Working against Williams receiving a farewell rugby league Test call-up is the plethora of young Kiwi back-rowers such as Tohu Harris, Kevin Proctor and Jason Taumalolo desperate for the opportunity to represent their country and be part of the Four Nations campaign at the end of the year and World Cup in three years' time.

    "That's something we're very mindful of as selectors and myself and what we want," Kearney said of transitioning young players into the national team. "The journey for us now is... We want to challenge for the opportunity in another four years' time in terms of a World Cup final so again the decisions that we make now are important in that process.

    "That's something that myself and the selectors are certainly keeping in mind with our selection process for the Anzac Day Test obviously and also the end of the year. They're things that we're mindful of and you've just got to make sure you get the balance right."

    As for the availability of Williams and likelihood of his selection, Kearney said that was still to be worked through before the announcement of the team on Sunday.

    "We're not too sure about that," Kearney told "For us, that's something, as I mentioned about four years' time; I'm sure we'll cross that bridge over the next week."

    Kearney spoke with prior to the start of Round 7 and with Luke and Pritchard already sidelined almost predicted Foran's demise, suggesting that the Kiwi side would "probably cop an injury out of this weekend".

    Despite the loss of so many key players for the Test at Allianz Stadium next Friday night, Kearney has been delighted with the emergence of previously unheralded names and the return to form of some former Kiwi representatives.

    "There are some guys who have really shown some form. I look at the Wests Tigers and the two guys coming off the bench (James Gavet and Martin Taupau), they have certainly put their hand up," said Kearney, who was reappointed as Kiwis coach in February until the end of 2015, with a right of renewal through until the 2017 World Cup.

    "Manu Ma'u at Parramatta, I think Adam Blair is back to playing the type of football that made him a Kiwi representative... There are some guys who are really putting their hand up.

    "Gerard Beale at the Dragons hasn't played for the last couple of years, so that's a real positive."

  3. #3
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Brisbane / HK


    What a disgrace! We can't let people just turn down rep footy on a whim. He isn't a patriot.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!


  4. #4
    Coach C-Whiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Nerang, Gold Coast


    Quote Originally Posted by DIEHARD View Post
    What a disgrace! We can't let people just turn down rep footy on a whim. He isn't a patriot.
    It is a disgrace, and shows a total lack of respect for his team mates and his country.

    I believe that if someone chooses not to play for their country without a valid reason, then that person should never be allowed to represent their country again.

    Personally, I would be more than happy if SBW had never been allowed to play RL again, like all the big tough talking heads of RL said when he showed how disgracefully disloyal he can be by walking out on his team, his club and the code.

  5. #5
    Rep Player GCT_89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    He's one of the most popular players in the comp, puts bums on seats, memberships on credit cards, subscriptions on foxtel and viewers on FTA....

    I'm not saying he's bigger than the game, but he didn't want to play for a team that implicated him in a drug scandal, fair enough....

    Yes he is one of the most selfish players in the game also....but I would be too....

    But I will be surprised if he is ever picked for the kiwis again...


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