breaking

Warriors' Addin Fonua-Blake stood down after sheds walkout amid fallout over team song

Scott Bailey
AAP
Addin Fonua-Blake (l) has accepted "full responsibility" for breaching club rules, the Warriors say. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)
Addin Fonua-Blake (l) has accepted "full responsibility" for breaching club rules, the Warriors say. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

The Warriors have made the bold call to stand Addin Fonua-Blake down, after accusing him of a dressing-room walkout before the team song at Magic Round.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster made the call on Thursday to rule Fonua-Blake out of the club’s crucial clash with the Dolphins on Sunday.

In a statement, the Warriors claimed Fonua-Blake had breached club standards for leaving the dressing room early after last Sunday’s win over Penrith.

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In doing so, the club claims Fonua-Blake missed the post-match address from Webster as well as the team song, after their first win in six weeks.

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

The decision to stand Fonua-Blake down has the potential to be costly for the Auckland-based club.

They already have up to 11 players missing for Sunday’s clash with the Dolphins, which looms as crucial in the Warriors’ fight to get their season back on track.

Halfback Shaun Johnson and hooker Wayde Egan are among those out, along with forwards Kurt Capewell, Tohu Harris and Marata Niukore.

Fonua-Blake has been the Warriors’ best forward this year, averaging 177 metres per game after driving the team to last year’s preliminary finals.

But he had his quietest game in three years in Sunday’s win over the Panthers, running the ball only seven times.

Fonua-Blake will leave the club at year’s end, after requesting a move back to Sydney and signing with Cronulla for 2025 and beyond.

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