League: Waerea-Hargreaves on why he was dumped

By Paul Crawley of the Sydney Daily Telegraph

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Photo / Getty Images
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Photo / Getty Images

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has lifted the lid on his shock axing from the New Zealand test team, declaring feels he at least deserved a call from coach Steve Kearney.

Rated the game's most feared front-rower, the Roosters enforcer was sensationally dumped this week from a severely depleted Kiwi team that will include six debutants when they tackle the Kangaroos tomorrow night.

Kearney cited "form" and "a focus on the future" as the main reasons behind his selection bombshells.

Asked if he expected a call from Kearney, Waerea-Hargreaves said: "I guess that is the way it works. You stay in touch.

"I think there should have been a call for sure. And I think there should even be a call now."

But Waerea-Hargreaves said his dumping would not impact his desire to win back his test spot for the end of season Four Nations - and he even plans to go to tomorrow night's game to support his mates.

"Obviously I am extremely disappointed, he said.

"Not just at not being selected but after hearing that it has got to do with form and the future plans of the Kiwis, when I heard that sort of stuff I started thinking I am only 25.

"I am not really coming to the end of my career.

"I am wishing all the players all the very best and I wish I could be out there with them.

"I am going to bottle it up and use it in a positive way for the Roosters and I look forward to playing the Tigers next week."

Waerea-Hargreaves admits his form at the start of the year was down but the disrupted pre-season because of the World Cup had impacted many players - and over the past two weeks he has been back to his best for the Roosters.

He said he was buoyed by the support he had received from the public and fellow players.
But Kearney's distant approach had left him stunned.

"The thing I was disappointed about was that I hadn't received a phone call to say; 'Well, Jared, maybe you should pick your form up. Maybe you need to be doing a bit more'.

"But I am all good, I am staying positive. I am a pretty positive person.

"We have had a few days off so I have had a bit of time to go away and refresh and spend a bit of time away from footy and I am back and ready to start ripping in.

"It is very humbling to hear some of the support I have had. Not only from the public but the other teams and my own teammates.

"It just shows how awesome this game actually is."

There has been a dark cloud hanging over the Kiwis ever since the World Cup following an internal investigation into a supposed "Stilnox scandal".

It is understood Kiwi players were filthy after some names were leaked in the media.

Waerea-Hargreaves' name was never mentioned - but asked if he felt his reputation had now been tarnished, Waerea-Hargreaves was adamant: "No way. Definitely not, no way.

"I have never had anything to do with any of that.

"And that has been blown out of proportion. Every player will absolutely agree with me there."

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