Warriors boss scotches Lolohea rumours
WARRIORS coach Andrew McFadden has dismissed talk Tui Lolohea is unhappy and considering his career options, and insists he remains a big part of his plans for the club’s future.
The 21-year-old Kiwi international was frustrated after playing only two minutes in extra time during last week’s golden-point loss to Manly but McFadden was adamant there are no issues between the pair.
Lolohea is again being put on the bench for Saturday’s away clash with Canberra, forced to bide his time with competition high for a starting berth in the outside backs.
McFadden says Lolohea understands his current role and remains committed to the Auckland-based club.
“No, that’s just speculation, there’s nothing in it,” the coach said of rumours Lolohea was on the outer.
“Most definitely he was frustrated, and I understand that. He probably doesn’t like it but I made the decision that was best for the team at the time. Certainly it’s not a reflection of Tui.
“I speak to Tui all the time. I’ve got a good working relationship with him, he understands the position at the moment. Tui’s very committed to the club and we’re committed to Tui.”
McFadden is frustrated the matter has become a big talking point on both sides of the Tasman after reports Lolohea’s manager received text messages from three different clubs during Saturday night’s match, and by the end of the weekend had five clubs offering him a starting spot.
There has been a perception in the media Lolohea is being unfairly treated or mismanaged.
“It’s a little frustrating, I must admit,” McFadden said of the criticism. “I guess they’ve got a lot of media content to fill.
“It’s certainly been a mountain out of a molehill. Every player goes through struggles or setbacks and this is all it is.
“What I will say is, I gave Tui his debut two years ago and I thought he was a special talent and I still do, so I haven’t lost any faith in Tui. This is just a little bump in the road. He’ll be fine.”