Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney says Ben Matulino, Manu Vatuvei and Bodene Thompson were never going to be considered for selection for the Anzac test, in the wake of the ongoing development in the Warriors saga.

He added that their international futures will be discussed after the Anzac test, in consultation with the NZRL hierarchy and the board.

It was revealed today that most of the gang of six were taking energy drinks and prescription drugs on their night out last week, compounding the situation for the disgraced players.

Read more: Warriors mixed prescription drugs with energy drinks


Kearney says once he knew all the details his decision was clear.

"I've been in contact with Jim [Doyle] and 'Cappy' (Andrew McFadden) about the decision and the fact that it has come out that they have made the decision to stand them down from international football I don't think is entirely correct," Kearney told the New Zealand Herald.

"I was aware of the circumstances of the team protocol and the issues there and my decision and the selectors decision was to support the club on the issue. Knowing all the circumstances our view on it was that they were not going to be considered for selection."

Radio Sport's Kent Johns talks to NZRL CEO Alex Hayton:

It's not the first time that Kearney and the Kiwis have been embroiled in such an issue, as the stilnox scandal helped to derail the 2013 World Cup campaign. Sonny Bill Williams and Kieran Foran were named by the Herald on Sunday at the time, but it was believed that others had also indulged in the practice during the long campaign in the northern hemisphere.

That led to Kearney's cultural crackdown after that tournament - and was also arguably the beginning of a new era for the Kiwis.

It was a big issue for the coach at the time, which will surely have ramifications for Vatuvei, Matulino and co.

2 May, 2016 1:30pm
3 minutes to read

Do they have a future with the Kiwis?

"That something I can't answer today," said Kearney. "I've got a test match to prepare for and once this is out of the way I will sit down with the appropriate people. Need to take into consideration all the circumstances and not be rushed into a decision. My focus is on the group I have here for Friday's game."