Hindmarsh hopes for Tahu return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hindmarsh hopes for Tahu return

By Laine Clark 13/06/2010 01:34:13 PM Comments (0)

A "shocked" Nathan Hindmarsh still holds some hope that Timana Tahu will return to the NSW team for Wednesday's second State of Origin game following his dramatic walkout.

Tahu sensationally quit the Blues camp in northern NSW after falling out with assistant coach Andrew Johns over an alleged racial slur used by Johns when talking about Queensland star Greg Inglis.

An apologetic Johns stood down from his NSW team role on Saturday night while Canberra's Joel Monaghan was called in to replace Tahu.

But Hindmarsh still hoped his Parramatta teammate Tahu could somehow resume his place in the Blues side ahead of the crunch Origin clash at Suncorp Stadium.

"It would be nice," said Hindmarsh before NSW training in Kingscliff on Sunday. "He was a key component in this team so it would be nice to see him back."

Hindmarsh admitted the Blues players were "shocked" when word finally filtered through at their team resort that not only Tahu but Johns had left the camp.

He said he thought about phoning Tahu but opted to wait until they met again at their NRL club.

Asked if Tahu, who has an Aboriginal mother and Maori father, had done the right thing, Hindmarsh said: "That's up to him, whether he has done the right thing.

"I have a job to do like the rest of us, and that's to play footy.

"Timana has left and that's the decision he has made.

"We will support his decision and that's about it.

"You don't (condone people making racist comments) but I don't know what has been said."

NSW great and Blues selector Laurie Daley told Fox Sports TV on Saturday night that he thought the controversy may galvanise the team.

But Hindmarsh said no good would come from the extraordinary events of the last few days.

"I don't see a benefit coming out of this," Hindmarsh said.

"We are a strong team, we are a united team already before this happened.

"Once it filtered through to us we organised a little meeting between players, decided 'this has happened, this is what we know - let's move on'."

The Nine Network reported Tahu was upset because Johns told centre Beau Scott on Wednesday that he needed to stop "that black c***" - in reference to Inglis.

But Hindmarsh still claimed he was unsure of exactly what Johns said that so offended Tahu.

"I wasn't in the room when it was said," Hindmarsh said.

"I am not sure what was said - it is up to Joey (Johns), Timana and I suppose Greg Inglis".

Asked how the team could overcome the controversy and avoid a record fifth straight Origin series loss, Hindmarsh said: "That's what we are paid to do, concentrate on playing football.

"Sure it has been a little bit of a distraction for us but we are here to play football."

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