David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Konrad Hurrell's Tweet adds fuel to fire

Konrad Hurrell. Photo / Getty Images.
Konrad Hurrell. Photo / Getty Images.

An ill-timed social media post by out-of-favour Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell has added fuel to speculation coach Andrew McFadden has lost the support of his players.

Hurrell is one of six players reprimanded by McFadden after enjoying a late night out in Auckland on Tuesday following Monday's 42-0 Anzac Day defeat to Melbourne.

Veteran players Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson, and young front-rowers Sam Lisone and Albert Vete, were all dropped from the side named to play St George Illawarra on Sunday.

Hurrell, who has spent the last two weeks in reserve grade, was also out with the group on Tuesday night and was subsequently excluded from selection for Sunday's game.

The incident, together with the team's inconsistent performances, fuel the public's perception the players don't respect McFadden, who is under huge pressure after achieving three wins in their last 16 games.

Hurrell added weight to that perception today when he retweeted a post saying: "Six Warriors do no show to review hui. Id say that's a review of the coach in itself #faithgone #tautokotheboys @konmanhurrell @ManuVatuvei"

The post was quickly removed from Hurrell's account, meaning it was either retweeted by accident, or that he regretted sharing it to his 2164 followers.

Hurrell has form in regards to social media faux pas and late night indiscretions.

In 2014, he was investigated by the Warriors and the NRL's integrity unit after a video showing him involved in a sex act appeared on social media.

He was later fined $5000 and ordered to undergo counselling and expressed his remorse in a video posted on the club's website.

Last year, Hurrell was fortunate to escape punishment, after he, Vatuvei and former Warriors player Dominique Peyroux attended a concert in Auckland two days before being thrashed 50-16 by Wests Tigers.

The trio went on stage with American R&B performer Ginuwine and later posted about it on social media, earning a stern rebuke from McFadden, who described their actions as "unacceptable".

Hurrell's future at the club has been under question all season and the 24-year-old has recently been linked with a move to the Gold Coast Titans.

After working hard over the summer to improve his fitness and shed excess kilos, he spent the first two rounds playing for the Warriors reserve grade side in the second tier Intrust Super Premiership.

He was recalled to the bench for four games against the Storm, Knights, Roosters and Sea Eagles, but his role was largely restricted to assisting the forwards playing in the middle of the park.

McFadden then dropped Hurrell back to reserve grade over the past fortnight, citing the need for him to play longer minutes.

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Despite the Warriors seven tries to none thrashing by the Storm, Hurrell was not recalled for Sunday's must-win clash against the Dragons at Mt Smart Stadium. His involvement in the Warriors mid-week night out then ensured he was ruled ineligible for a late call-up.

Earlier today, Warriors forward Charlie Gubb insisted McFadden had the player's backing and refuted claims he had lost the dressing room.

However, Gubb accepts the only way that perception will change is by performing on the field consistently.

"People assume things and we're not doing him any favours by playing the way we did," he said. "What hurts the most is people blaming Cappy because, as a team, we've got so much respect for him and he's a great coach.

"We just need to start delivering for him because it's easy to point the finger at the coach and also the star players cop a lot [of criticism]. The only way we can stop that is by winning."

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