Chairman of Māori Rugby League, John Devonshire, has ripped into the Sydney Roosters and rival Aussie clubs after superstar Joey Manu was blocked from playing in the game by the Roosters.
Manu is returning from a cheekbone injury sustained in last year’s finals but was reportedly ready to don the Māori jersey for the clash at CommBank Stadium.
“He was very keen, being a proud Maori lad, but the Roosters said no, which is disappointing,” Devonshire told The Mole via the Wide World of Sports website.
“I can understand their point of view – he got hurt in the game last year and hasn’t played since he fractured his cheekbone.
“But looking from over here in NZ, it seems that the clubs run the game in Australia.
“This game is so culturally important to both the Maoris and the Indigenous players – there are some things that are special on the league calendar.
“But the clubs seem to think that they are bigger than the game and that is a shame.”