Former Warriors utility Tui Lolohea has revealed he "drowned his sorrows" in alcohol to deal with his frustrations during his last months in Auckland before joining Wests Tigers.
The 22-year-old told the Sydney Morning Herald he turned to alcohol after growing disillusioned at a lack of game time and being forced to play on the wing under Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.
Lolohea played two games on the flank at the beginning of the season and had two starts at fullback and five-eighth as a replacement for Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and playmaker Kieran Foran but was dropped to reserve grade before switching to Wests Tigers mid-season.
"I got to a point where I felt that just wasn't me," Lolohea told the Sydney Morning Herald.
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"I had enough of playing on the wing. I never played on the wing growing up but they chucked me on the wing and first grade and had to stay there. I got the opportunity here to get more involved here and I feel like I'm playing some good footy.
"I was overweight. I was unhappy. I was struggling. Playing reserve grade on the wing probably didn't help. I was off it a little bit. I've lost six kilograms since coming here and each week I'm feeling better on the field. In the first month at the Tigers I was struggling and my weight had a lot to do with it."
Lolohea admits he used alcohol as a crutch while he waited to be granted a release from the Warriors but says he has cleaned up his act since moving across the Tasman.
He has shown patches of his best form since arriving at the joint-venture club and is finding his feet playing under former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary.
"I was going through some pretty tough times back home. All the alcohol ... all the little stuff it got to me," Lolohea told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I was drowning my sorrows in it to be honest. But I've been pretty good over here. The things I used to do back home, I don't do over here. I'm fully focused on my footy here."
Lolohea is set to line-up against his former club for the first time when the Warriors head to Sydney to play the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in the final game of the regular season next Sunday.