Warriors star Addin Fonua-Blake stood down over team rules

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Departing Warriors star Addin Fonua-Blake has been dropped over a “breach of club standards” in a shock development for the NRL club.

The club released a statement on Thursday stating the star prop left the dressing-room early and wasn’t present for the team song or post-match debrief after the side’s clash with premiers Penrith last Sunday.

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The upset 22-20 Magic Round victory over the Panthers snapped a six-game winless run and was achieved with an injury-riddled Warriors line-up.

Some of the gloss of that potentially season-saving win has now been removed after the club was compelled to drop one of its biggest stars for this week’s home clash with the Dolphins over the breach of team rules.

“One New Zealand Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake has been stood down from Sunday’s Indigenous Round match against the Dolphins on Sunday following a breach of club standards,” the statement read.

“Head coach Andrew Webster said Fonua-Blake had removed himself from the dressing room after the 22-20 win over Penrith and wasn’t present for the post-match team address or the team song.

“This doesn’t meet our standards and Addin accepts full responsibility for his behaviour.”

The Warriors, last year’s preliminary finalists who pulled within three points of the top eight with last Sunday’s effort, will now be missing the 2023 Dally M Prop of The Year to take on Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins.

It is a concerning development for Fonua-Blake, who was released from the final two years of his contract in December on compassionate grounds, with the prop then securing a four-year deal with the Sharks from 2025.

This incident surely raises question marks over the 28-year-old’s commitment to the cause in his fourth and final season in New Zealand.

Fonua-Blake’s no-show and subsequent punishment flies in the face of comments he made to Fox Sports back in February.

“To play the best footy I can and to not leave any stone unturned here would be a good thing for me,” he said of his hopes for the remainder of 2024.

“When I leave I just want everyone to say the same thing about me — that I didn’t leave anything out there on the field and I did everything I could for the club.

“I want to leave on good terms, I don’t want to leave here and have people think I was holding back anything for a new club.

“I’m just going to go out there and leave it all out on the training paddock and then again on the field.”

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