League: Warriors 'Infamous Five' should remain banned - Kiwi great

By Chris Rattue

Bodene Thompson is one of the Warriors set to be available for selection. Photo / Getty
Bodene Thompson is one of the Warriors set to be available for selection. Photo / Getty

Kiwi great Hugh McGahan has called on the Warriors to block their pill-popping players from an immediate return to first grade.

The former national captain, a one-time world player of the year, told Radio Sport's Martin Devlin on the DRS that Manu Vatuvei, Bodene Thompson, Ben Matulino, Sam Lisone and Albert Vete should remain in reserve grade when the Warriors play Penrith in Christchurch on Saturday evening.

The Infamous Five admitted to club officials they had mixed energy drinks and prescription medicine on a night out and were dropped from first grade and test selection. Konrad Hurrell, a first grade reject anyway, denied drug taking but was also banned as punishment for being part of the late night escapade and previous indiscretions.

McGahan said: "I'm surprised that after a week, they are back in the fold again. Will they be selected?

"This is a time for (coach) Andrew McFadden to draw a line in the sand and say to the club and everyone else out there, don't stuff me around again.

Martin Devlin interviews Hugh McGahan

"I don't think you are worthy enough. The boys who took over last week are going to play again and the rest of you can just wait until I'm ready, to get some control of this club.

"Yes they might be remorseful - would they have gone and apologised to those same people if they hadn't been told by the club this is what you need to do?

"Is winning more important or re-setting what he thinks the culture of the club should be. I know he is under pressure. He has to win games. Sometimes there are more important things to do if you want long term success."

The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast interviews NRL commentator Andrew Voss

McGahan was surprised there wasn't a set time put on the suspensions.

McGahan said: "Manu Vatuvei, who was put on medical leave, is available less than a week later. A big song and dance is made...so what was so bad for him?"

McGahan, a player-coach for the Sydney Roosters at the end of his playing career, said it would be easy to re-integrate the banned Warriors with their team mates.

"It won't be too difficult - they are all fairly close with each other," he said.

"They probably knew they were doing those sorts of things. Bodene Thompson has only been in the club a couple of years and he found out somehow.

"Yes they (other players) would have been disappointed but they would have thrashed that out last week. It won't be too tough for them to get back in."

McGahan again raised questions about McFadden's future if he was having trouble getting his messages through to players.

"Everyone has nothing but good things to say about him," McGahan said.

"I understand he's a very good coach. The results just aren't coming. There hasn't been any change in what's developing. The inconsistency is still there."

- NZ Herald

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