New Zealand are not the only ones dealing with player defections, as Andrew Fifita has joined the World Cup rebellion and handed in his Kangaroos jersey to join Tonga.
Punters had better see if they can get something on, as at this rate, by the time the competition begins, Tonga could shorten faster than Winx in a seven horse race.
Fifita joins Jason Taumalolo, who informed the Kiwis that he was moving to Tonga in protest over the axing of Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor.
The Roos seem intent on calling Reagan Campbell-Gillard into the squad to take up the spot vacated by Fifita.
Fifita has had a rocky test career. He was omitted from last year’s Four Nations squad for writing “FKL” on his wrist tape as a tribute to his friend, jailed one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge.
Politics and sports are increasingly becoming intertwined to an alarming extent, as players on all continents where free speech is permitted are increasingly using their social status to weigh in on all manner of issues.
Of course, that leads to more commentary from others.
Kiwi Great Benji Marshall did not think highly of Taumalolo’s abandonment of the Kiwi World Cup squad. Speaking to NZME not long after the news of Taumalolo’s defection broke, Marshall said that the jumper swapping was, “Embarrassing for the game. I don’t really care what the reasons were and why he is not wearing the Kiwis jumper. For me, it is an honour and privilege you grow up dreaming of. I just don’t know what part of society has changed that you all of a sudden decide three weeks out from the World Cup you are not playing.”
Times change, do they not? There was a time when no one care what athletes thought or did, so long as they did their jobs on the field.
Nowadays, with the 24-hour-a-day torrent of information that threatens to inundate each and every one of us, to be silent is equivalent to ceasing to exist.