Monaghan switches allegiance to Wolves after dog controversy
Tuesday 18 January 2011
Joel Monaghan will face the taunts and jibes of a crowd on Sunday for the first time since fleeing Australia in embarrassment.
The Kangaroo wingman asked for a release from Canberra Raiders and flew to Europe after a photo was posted on the internet showing him simulating a lewd act with a dog at an end-of-season drinking session.
"It was the worst time of my life," said Monaghan, as he faced the media for the first time yesterday at his new club, Warrington.
"I didn't turn the internet on or read a newspaper for about two months. The hardest thing was seeing my family dragged in as well. I never slept for a week and it was obviously a rough time."
Monaghan will play for the first time since that infamous escapade in the friendly at Leigh this weekend and his brother, Michael, already an established player with the Wolves, has warned him to expect a ribald reception.
"He's said that I'm going to have to experience a lot, but I'm big enough," he said. "I know what's going to happen, so I've got my head around it."
The Warrington captain, Adrian Morley, has no doubts that Monaghan will take any abuse in his stride. "I played with Joel for two years at the Sydney Roosters and I know what a strong character he is," he said. "There's going to be a bit of banter, but I don't think it's going to be an issue for him. He's been crucified in Australia, so this is going to be a walk in the park by comparison.
"He's heard all the jokes from the players, because rugby league is a game where there's plenty of mickey-taking. We haven't been walking on eggshells with him and, underneath all the nonsense, we've got a very good player. The NRL's loss is our gain."
Another new team-mate, Jon Clarke, said: "We've absolutely murdered him and that's helped him settle in."
The Warrington coach, Tony Smith, is equally confident Monaghan will weather his baptism. "Rugby league fans are generally pretty good," he said. "He knows there will be a bit of banter coming his way, but nothing that goes too far. Having a laugh at each other is what keeps us down to earth and stops us getting too full of ourselves."
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
Latest in Sport
World Masters Athletics Championships: Meet the 95-year-olds still picking up medals
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'