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
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk