NRL Rd 1 - Dragons v Sharks
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Dragons head coach Anthony Griffin speaks to the media during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Cronulla Sharks at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on March 14, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Jack Gosiewski has revealed the heartbreak after potentially sacrificing his NRL career for the birth of his first child, and the role Anthony Griffin played in his Dragons' departure.

The back-rower played 52 NRL games between South Sydney and Manly before joining St George Illawarra this season for what should have been a breakout season for the 28-year-old.

It wasn't.

While the edge forward doesn't have a deal with any club for 2023 as of yet, he does have a healthy five-month-old son, Goldie, a priority Gosiewski has made crystal clear as he comes clean over his disappearance from the Red V's top side.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Jack Gosiewski of the Sea Eagles is tackled during the round two NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters at Lottoland on March 23, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Featuring in four of St George Illawarra's opening ten games via the bench, Gosiewski broke through and finally earned a starting role for their Round 11 clash against New Zealand, however things got crazy when childbirth complications emerged.

“We were set to play on the Saturday and we ended up having our son on the Friday,' Gosiewski recalled to News Corp. 

“My missus went through pretty much two full nights of labour at home and then on the Friday morning we ended up going to the hospital and she ended up having a C-section.

“So I had missed captain's run and the game was the next day.

“Because of what I had been through emotionally and physically, like I pretty much hadn't slept for two days and then obviously the stress of having the C-section and going to the hospital was a lot, I thought that I would try and do the right thing by the team.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Ben Hunt of the Dragons and team mates look dejected after a Cowboys try during the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on July 31, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Griffin didn't name Gosiewski in the 17 again for the remainder of the season, playing his final match for the club in Round 10 at Magic Round, the week before his son was born.

While St George Illawarra struggled in the NRL and fell out of finals contention, Gosiewski picked up a spot in the NSW Team of the Year, talent was never the issue.

Gosiewski is adamant he was trying to put the team first and have Griffin select someone that had actually slept in the two days prior to the game, however 'Hook' (Anthony Griffin) didn't see it the same way.

“If it was a once in a lifetime game like a grand final or a prelim I probably would have played,” he continued.

“But it was mid-year and I was trying to put the team first by putting someone fresher in.

“I didn't want to go out there and let myself down or let the team down so I put them first, and obviously my family.”

The Dragons beat the Warriors 24-18 in that Round 11 clash, but the bridge was burnt.

The 28-year-old forward continually went to Griffin to find out what he needed to improve to return to the side and despite somewhat positive feedback, he was never selected again.

“After that when I was playing reserve grade and playing really good footy, I would ask, ‘How am I going? What am I doing good?'

“Pretty much the conversation would be, ‘You are doing really good, just keep doing what you are doing'.

“But that ended up to me having a four-month-old child and two pay cheques left and no contract. You know what I mean?

“I didn't think it would end up panning out the way it did. It obviously has and here I am.”

The revelation comes days after George Burgess was granted an immediate release from the club, potentially ending his own NRL career, because he couldn't take another pre-season under Griffin.

"There is no point being there if the coach doesn't believe in me", Burgess said earlier in the week to The Daily Telegraph.

NRL Rd 2 - Dragons v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: George Burgess of the Dragons warms up ahead of the round two NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on March 18, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

While the decision may have also ended Gosiewski's NRL career, the edge forward has no regrets.

“I am not disappointed that I have got a beautiful healthy boy," he said.

“But it would have been my biggest game for the year because if I had played decent in that game, which I am sure I would have, I would have stayed there.

“I was playing really good footy. I feel like at any other club I would have been playing NRL.

“And it is just that decision that sort of haunts me.

“My missus was begging me to play because she knew how big of a game it was for me. Like, I would never change the decision, even knowing what the outcome was.

“I would happily do that again."

Despite being unsigned for 2023, The Daily Telegraph reports that North Queensland may be interested as a replacement for Ben Condon at the club.

 

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