Monaghan ready for 'ruff' treatment - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Monaghan ready for 'ruff' treatment

By Tom Wald 20/01/2011 03:01:29 PM Comments (0)

Even on the other side of the world, there is no escaping the taunts for Joel Monaghan.

Especially from his new English Super League teammates.

Warrington players are in no hurry to let him live down his infamous lewd act with a dog that ended his time at the Canberra Raiders in November.

When he walked into the change rooms at Wolves for the first time, they were into him about the distasteful incident that sparked international headlines.

Not even having his big brother Michael Monaghan firmly entrenched at the club was going to stop a few barbs from flying around.

And while publicly Wolves players are trying to keep it clean, the former Kangaroo is copping plenty of stick behind closed doors.

On a clear sunny morning not unlike a winter's day in Canberra, Warrington's chief playmaker Lee Briers couldn't help himself.

Firstly there was barking during Monaghan's interviews at the club's pre-season media day and then the helpful suggestion to play "Who let the dogs out?"

Monaghan smiled in the stands at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, he appreciates a joke as much as the next person.

Fortunately for him, just over two months after his humiliating episode, he is seeing the funny side of it all.

"Mick said `They are probably the toughest fans, the English fans', he said `you are going to experience a lot'," he said.

"I know it is going to happen so I have got my head around that ...

"I didn't turn the internet on or read a paper for about two months, but obviously I'm going to expect a few jokes.

"If they're real good ones, I'll have a chuckle."

He is still highly embarrassed about the incident but if there is any lingering bitterness, it is not evident.

Monaghan said support from the likes of Todd Carney and Andrew Johns, who have both suffered very public falls from grace, had meant a lot to him during his darker days.

"It was probably the worst month of my life," he said.

"Toddy (Carney) is probably one of my best mates, Joey (Johns) was ringing me every day, just to see how I was and I was getting a lot of support.

"It made me realise I must have done something right in the 10 years of playing to have such support.

"They said `It is going to be dark for a while but there is light at the end of the tunnel'.

"Trust me you think the world is going to end and it is all against you but just keep your head down and you will come out the other side."

Monaghan said there was no-one else to blame but himself for the scandal that erupted following the release of the incriminating photo on Twitter.

He said he had no bone to pick with the person who released the image online or for others that forwarded it on.

"If I was at the club and playing footy, I probably would have sent it on too, so no hard feelings ... 100 per cent my fault," he said.

As for the expected abuse from English fans, he said he would do the same if roles were reversed.

Monaghan still feels intense guilt about the pain he caused his family from his alcohol-fuelled indiscretion and knows the stigma will be attached to him for life.

He said he was keeping a handle on his drinking and was planning on linking up with a new counsellor in the coming weeks to discuss his issues.

"I was trying to be the life of the party, mucking around trying to make people laugh," he said.

"I have learnt my lesson and you will never see anything like that happen again."

Having thought his career was over, Monaghan can't wait to be unleashed when the Super League season starts next month.

"It makes you appreciate what you have got," he said.

If there was a positive amongst the wreckage, it was the delight of Monaghan's father that his sons being re-united on the field.

"I don't think the big fella stopped grinning for about three days after I told him," he said.

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