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Warriors drop six players as season lurches to further crisis

The Roar logo The Roar 29/04/2016 The Roar

Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors looks dejected following the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park on April 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia © Graham Denholm/Getty Images Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors looks dejected following the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park on April 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia The New Zealand Warriors’ season from hell has hit a new low, with coach Andrew McFadden standing down six players “for failing to meet team standards” following the team’s 42-0 thrashing in Melbourne on Anzac Day.

Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete, Sam Lisone and Konrad Hurrell have all been dropped to the club’s Queensland Cup team for this weekend.

“We’ve dealt with this internally after questioning the players involved and won’t be going into any details,” McFadden said.

Speaking to Radio Sport, Warriors CEO Jim Doyle gave the under-siege coach his backing.

“We expect all of our players to be professional and meet all of our standards and in this case it is very disappointing that those players haven’t,” Doyle said.

“We met with the players as a group and we have further meetings with them individually. They were disappointed, emotional, regretful etc.

“We want to have a successful club that we are all proud of and that means you have to have a high performance, professional culture and when things don’t go the way they are supposed to go you have to take the appropriate action to make sure everybody is aware of what our standards are.”

It’s the latest blow to a side that went on an unprecedented recruitment drive prior to the season – bringing in Kiwi internationals Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, as well as veteran half Jeff Robson – yet have started the year three and five.

Exacerbating their issues, Tuivasa-Sheck has been ruled our for the of the season after rupturing his ACL against Canterbury a fortnight ago, while Luke said this week his form didn’t warrant selection for the Kiwis in the upcoming Anzac Test.

What affect the Warriors standing down of New Zealand internationals Vatuvei, Matulino and Hurrell will have on Stephen Kearney’s side for the match against the Kangaroos next Friday remains to be seen, although it piles on the problems for the national side after captain Kieran Foran was given a leave of absence by Parramatta yesterday to deal with personal issues.

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Article originally published on theroar.com.au

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