There is a lot of nonsense going on at present regarding Bradford Bulls winger Lesley Vainikolo.

If a player is chosen to play for his country he should be prepared to crawl over broken glass to do it.

I will never be convinced any player is forced to undertake an operation that would prevent him representing his country if he really wants to play.

I have always had an enormous amount of respect for Ian Roberts, who played for Wigan and Manly when I coached these clubs.

Roberts was eligible to play for Wigan as a non-import player because he had a British passport as well as an Australian one.

The Great Britain coach at that time was Malcolm Reilly and their team manager was Maurice Lindsay, who was also chairman at Wigan.

Because Ian had a British passport they put a lot of pressure on him to play for Great Britain against the touring Aussie side.

Although Roberts was keen as mustard to become an international, he wanted to take his chances and play for Australia - a goal achieved a couple of years later.

The point is, he illustrated his commitment to play for his country even though he was born in England.

He didn't need a ruling from any club board or coach, he did what his heart told him.

We have enjoyed a great two weeks of test match league but you have to now ask yourself, what is going on when it comes to eligibility, who can play for the Kiwis and who needs an operation.

The Lesley Vainikolo affair has not only been very poorly handled, it is an embarrassment to the game and its long-suffering supporters.

That the protocol was ignored regarding liaising about players' injuries is a damning indictment on not only the NZRL board, but also the game's international body.

The finger can be pointed in any number of directions, but for me it comes back to two areas.

First, an ongoing lack of respect by the Great Britain and Australian Rugby Leagues towards their counterparts on the New Zealand board.

For years they've given the NZRL the mushroom treatment by keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit, and our guys keep falling for it.

'Bluey' McClennan has done a marvellous job for the image of the game here but he has been let down by the blazer brigade.

Second, and maybe even more importantly, is the role of the player.

Some very firm rules need to be put in place and the players need to understand them very clearly.

I don't go along with the theory that a NZRL-appointed medical assessment needs to be carried out to verify a club report regarding an injury to a player.

If the club respects the counterpart they are dealing with here, there would be no problem.

But the players need to be fair dinkum about all this as well.

Vainikolo was chosen to join the Kiwi squad and if he was keen enough, he would have. It is as simple as that.

The clubs pay the players' wages but don't rule their lives.

If the big winger was fit enough he should have simply put the operation on hold.

I put Benji Marshall in the same boat. If he really wanted to play for the Kiwis and was fit enough he should have told his coach Tim Sheens he was going to delay his operation.

Unfortunately you can't see into a player's heart because that is where you would find what he really wants to do.

McClennan will not let this latest drama interfere with the preparation of his team this week - in fact, I can see it quite the other way.

His players will already have enormous respect for him but I doubt if that respect will be shared with the administrators of the game.

Great Britain are an unknown quantity in this campaign but I certainly do not underestimate them.

Vainikolo's club coach Brian Noble is also the Great Britain coach but I don't believe he will have been part of any conspiracy to stop his star winger playing this test.

Noble did a great job for his country last year and will be quietly confident even though he has a new-look side.

But I think the Kiwis are in a groove and should be able to take this tri-series by the scuff of the neck - but they must sort out that habit of lapsing, as they did against Australia last Friday - especially when Ruben Wiki was off the field.

It did show a lack of confidence from the other players but there should be enough experience in the side to not to let that happen again.

Players do feel more at ease when they know their leader is in the line with them.

Mark Graham had a similar effect on the Kiwis sides I coached.

If he left the field injured, we struggled.

That is one of the reasons (or perhaps excuses) I had for making him play on so often when I knew he was injured.

Australia will certainly not be the force they have been now that Andrew Johns has had to pull out.

But after two hard games against the Kiwis they will be match hardened and still favourites in the eyes of many.

Not in the eyes of this little Kiwi though.

I think we have the players and the coaches to win this thing.

As long as this 10-minute snooze mode is deleted I reckon we are looking the goods.