Late on Monday, the New Zealand Rugby Union finally fronted up and explained its withdrawal of star Wanganui player Sam Madams from the NZ Heartland rugby squad.

Except that it was an "explanation' that said next to nothing.

The Chronicle front page story on Tuesday on the axing of Madams five days after he had been picked to make his New Zealand debut carried the headline "Wall of silence" to reflect the fact that no one in authority had told Madams what he had done wrong.

Read more: Rugby: Star player in the dark over axing from Heartland team
Madams Player of the Year


The New Zealand Rugby Union's response to the Chronicle - at the third request for some clarity - was like another brick in that wall.

A terse three lines included one grain of information - "Sam Madams was removed from the New Zealand Heartland XV squad following discussion with head coach Barry Matthews."

It is understood Wanganui player of the year Madams and Matthews exchanged words after Wanganui beat Matthews' South Canterbury team in Timaru in the Meads Cup semifinal.

But Madams says he still does not know what his "crime" was that merited such harsh treatment.

The assumption must be that Matthews took exception to something Madams said or did, complained to the Rugby Union which then showed the Wanganui forward the door.

But there is no suggestion Madams was given the chance to present his side of the incident. Is Matthews a blameless victim here? It seems that him pointing the finger has been enough to produce a guilty verdict.

The NZ Rugby Union's refusal to give an adequate explanation not only shows a lack of transparency, it indicates a lack of natural justice.