League 'has drinking problem' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League 'has drinking problem'

By Brent Read 24/05/2004 10:46:09 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart says rugby league has a problem with binge drinking - but it won't be solved by having dry State of Origin camps.

Stuart aired his concerns over rugby league's alcohol-related issues as the fall-out from NSW's disastrous bonding session last week spread to Bondi Junction.

Roosters pair Anthony Minichiello - sacked by the Blues on Friday night - and Craig Wing were stood down for Sunday's clash with the New Zealand Warriors for breaching club policy.

The pair visited Kings Cross - a no-go zone for Roosters players - during the Blues' Wednesday night drinking session which stretched into the early hours of Thursday morning.

"There's a real public perception we have at the moment that these players drink three, four times a week," Stuart said.

"It's a poor public perception. They don't. They're professional athletes.

"The problem we have in our culture at the moment is the binge drinking.

"That's an issue we have to look at. That's an issue we have to attend to ... and fix."

Stuart said the game needed stricter guidelines in the area and the players needed to receive more education.

However, he wouldn't advocate making Origin camps alcohol-free, an idea raised by NSW coach Phil Gould before the Blues side was named for Origin I.

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