A coach, a shock jock and his estranged wife: The rugby league love triangle that’s kicking off in Australia

Broadcaster denies he tried to get romantic rival sacked by NSW Blues because he was dating the radio star’s wife

sydney

State of Origin is the annual interstate contest that has rugby league fans in Queensland and New South Wales agog – but this year it’s not the football that’s making headlines, but a love triangle involving a coach, a Sydney shock jock and his estranged wife.

Ray Hadley, a top-rating talkback host and sports commentator, is widely considered Australia’s most influential broadcaster. Now it is being alleged that he tried to use that influence to persuade league authorities to sack Matt Parish, assistant coach of the NSW Blues team, who has been spotted at public events with his estranged wife, Suzanne. Mr Hadley has denied doing so.

The row was the talk of Sydney social and sporting circles – particularly after claims that one popular tabloid, had sat on the story for two weeks.

The famously abrasive radio personality was reportedly heartbroken following the breakdown of his marriage in February.  He and his wife separated after she marched into a police station and applied for a restraining order against him. Although she later withdrew the application.

Around that time, according to the gossip columnists, Mr Hadley was sleeping on a sofa in his office at the 2GB radio station. He also took a rare day off sick.

Three months on, Suzanne Hadley has been seen on the arm of Mr Parish, a former league star turned coach.

With the first Origin match in Brisbane less than a fortnight away, Mr Hadley was today accused by the head Blues coach, Laurie Daley, of “unsettling our entire [Origin] campaign”.

Rugby league coach Matt Parish Rugby league coach Matt Parish
The explosive allegation against the 59-year-old is that he telephoned the chief executive of NSW rugby league, David Trodden, last week and, according to Mr Daley, tried to “exert his influence and power to have Parish disciplined or stood down”.

Mr Hadley – who also attacked Mr Daley and Mr Parish on air several times this week – today denied trying to get the latter sacked.

“I simply asked Dave Trodden to advise Matt Parish to be more circumspect in matters involving my wife,” he said.

“This is a very difficult situation… All I did was ask someone to pull his coat with relation to my wife and to be a bit more dignified in his actions.”

On his morning radio programme, Mr Hadley opened up about his troubled personal life, telling listeners that in recent months “at times I have felt like staying in bed and not coming to work”.

He added: “Listeners have to understand that despite the fact I’m on the wireless, I face the same problems off air [as] you do every day, and the fact my life ends up over three pages of the paper today doesn’t make it easier.”

The affair was discussed at a NSW rugby league board meeting last Monday, where directors expressed unanimous support for the coaching staff, including Mr Parish.

Mr Daley told the Telegraph: “Ray Hadley is way out of line. He’s using his influence and power to undermine Matt Parish and me.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee