Jason Taumalolo has broken his silence over his New Zealand defection.
The Dally M lock forward sensationally walked out on the Kiwis to join Tonga for this year’s World Cup.
His ‘betrayal’ was well-publicised, leaving David Kidwell demanding answers after Taumalolo didn’t contact him regarding the withdrawal.
However, after Tonga’s shock comeback over New Zealand yesterday afternoon, an emotional Taumalolo broke his silence.
Taumalolo insists that he couldn’t contact Kidwell, as he was heavily drunk during the Cowboy’s mad Monday celebrations.
“Half the reason was because I was still blind on Mad Monday then so that probably didn’t help,” Taumalolo said.
“Being drunk and handling phones doesn’t go too well if you ask me. That’s got me in some pretty bad situations.
“Post-season celebrations were probably one of the reasons I had to make my decision and obviously teams were being finalised so that was probably the main reason why.
“I definitely could have handled it a lot better, that’s probably the biggest (regret).”
An apologetic Taumalolo ran into Kidwell after Saturday’s match, and they supposedly cleared the air. Kidwell respected Taumalolo’s decision to represent his country of heritage and wished him good luck in the process.
“We exchanged a few words. I apologised about how things went and he was pretty good to talk to and he said how happy he was for me to represent my country of heritage and said good luck and that was about it,” Taumalolo said.
“Kiddy’s been a great coach for New Zealand throughout the World Cup and I just wish him all the best for the rest of the tournament.”
“I’m totally behind Kiddy’s decision,” he said.
“I don’t take drugs and I don’t condone it either so I stand by his decision.”