NZ Warriors sack young winger Taulapapa - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ Warriors sack young winger Taulapapa

By Peter Williams 06/06/2006 05:56:37 PM Comments (0)

Rookie New Zealand Warriors winger Misi Taulapapa became the second player to NRL be sacked in two weeks after having his contract terminated for an alcohol-related breach.

The Warriors axed 24-year-old Taulapapa for an unspecified fourth breach of team discipline after he was dropped from the line-up which played Brisbane on Sunday.

"The matter involved alcohol and it was especially disappointing that it happened just 48 hours before a game," Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said.

"It's apparent to us that he has some issues with alcohol."

Taulapapa's sacking came a fortnight after fellow New Zealander and former NZ Warrior Tevita Latu was cut loose by Cronulla for allegedly punching a women in the face in an early morning incident.

"Alcohol is an issue in rugby league and in sport generally and we're determined to send out a message about it to all of our players," Scurrah said.

"It's unfortunate to take action as extreme as this but we will do so if the circumstances dictate it."

Taulapapa made his NRL debut in April and played five first-grade games for the Auckland-based club after joining its development squad last year.

He had only recently signed a new one-year contract with the Warriors with the option of staying on through 2008.

"(I'm) disappointed not at the club but, to be honest, with myself," Taulapapa told New Zealand's TV3.

"I've been given some chances before."

Taulapapa's agent Aaron Lowe said the player would go back to playing domestic rugby league in New Zealand for the Auckland club coached by Kiwis mentor Brian McLennan.

"He's accepted the consequences of it," Lowe said.

"He's just laying low for a while to come to terms with it."

Lowe said Taulapapa hoped to play NRL football again with the Warriors or another club.

"It's now up to him show that he can do it off the field as well as on the field."

The Warriors have left the door open.

"If he can show he is prepared to help himself, we would look at the possibility of offering him a pathway back into the club in the future," Scurrah said.

Taulapapa told Television 3 News in New Zealand that he was disappointed with himself.

"I've been given some chances before," he said of his previous breaches of team discipline.

"It (alcohol) surely is a problem if it's happening on various occasions.

"You have to own up, and I probably did not recognise it."

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