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'It takes away all that joy when you see your kids hurting': Manu Vatuvei

Sporting News Sporting News 28/05/2016
<p>Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors.</p> © Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors.

Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has opened up about some of the personal issues he’s been dealing with and addressed his future at the club.

The 13-year veteran hasn’t played an NRL game since the Anzac Day hammering at the hands of the Storm in Melbourne.

He was stood down along with five teammates following the prescription pill and energy drink saga days after that loss, but returned with a double in the Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership win over the Dragons.

He’s been on a leave of absence since then and with the Warriors sitting 14th on the table, Vatuvei told radio personality Tony Veitch that the pressure and backlash from fans often hits him hard.

“With the pressure that comes along with the game, I’ve been struggling with a few things for a while now,” he said.

“Just with my mindset and how I’ve been trying to sort things out. Now I’m getting help and I’ve got the right help and hopefully things are on the right track.

“For myself being at the club for a while, you’re kind of the face of that (backlash) and whenever the Warriors go down, it’s kind of pointed at one person sometimes and usually that comes to me.

“But that’s part of the game and part of the business that we’re in, you can’t run away from that and when you’re going through that you’ve just gotta man up and try and find things to solve it.”

The 29-Test winger said he reached “breaking point” a few weeks ago after posting a photo to Instagram and arguing with fans who commented.

“Everyone just hammered me and I lost it,” he said.

Although he’s still working through some issues and is on the right track, Vatuvei nearly broke down when talking about how his kids are affected by the flack he cops.

“That’s the toughest thing when your kids come home crying. I try and protect them and do my best to take it out of their life. It sucks, that’s why I don’t like talking about my family.

“It takes away all that joy when you see your kids hurting, you always think of the negative and not the positives.

“That’s the way life is, but I just want to play hard and get back on the field and make my kids smile again.”

Rumours have swirled over the last several weeks that Vatuvei is leaving the Warriors, but he’s adamant he wants to be a one-club player and isn’t going anywhere.

The Warriors have a bye this weekend, but Vatuvei is expected to be available for next week’s home game against the Broncos. 

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