Warriors tight-lipped over rep ban talk

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has refused to comment on reports the NRL club won’t let players they stood down for disciplinary reason to play for their respective countries next week.

Six players, including New Zealand pair Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino and Tonga centre Konrad Hurrell, were not considered for NRL selection against St George Illawarra on Sunday over an apparent late night out in Melbourne at the start of the week.

Asked if they were going to be prevented from turning out next weekend in international matches, McFadden said: “I’m not going to be discussing anything to do with the punishment around those players.”

McFadden did say it was possible for a club to prevent a player representing his country.

“You can stop them from rep duties and sometimes it’s for different reasons,” he said.

As to whether there had been consultation with the NZRL, he said: “As I’ve said, I’m not going to be discussing that here.”

McFadden was speaking after the Warriors bounced back from a tough week by beating the Dragons 26-10 on Sunday.

The Kiwis are due to name their team on Sunday night for the Test against the Kangaroos in Newcastle on Friday night.

Vatuvei, Matulino, Hurrell as well as Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete and Sam Lisone were ruled out of the match against the Dragons for what the Warriors said was a breach of club protocol.

Media reports said the six had a late night out after the team arrived back in Auckland from their 42-0 defeat to Melbourne.

Some of the players were then late to a morning team meeting.

TVNZ reported earlier on Sunday that the players had also been stood down from next week’s representative round.

Vete was in line for selection for Tonga, while Lisone has played one Test for Samoa.

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