during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between the New Zealand Kiwis and Tonga at Waikato Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Jason Taumalolo breaks his silence over Kiwi defection

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.

Kiwis captain Adam Blair and Benji Marshall were angered by the 24-year old’s decision, questioning whether he’d ever be welcomed back into the Kiwis camp again.

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.”

Taumalolo hosed down suggestions that he was furious at Kidwell, due to his decision to overlook Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich after the ANZAC Test incident.

“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.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing to apologise for. It is decisions like this that is finally starting to breath some life into international Rugby League. Tonga vs NZ was BY FAR the best international game I have ever seen. I’m Aussie, but I actually want to see Tonga win. The NSW/QLD rivalry is so strong that I can’t bring myself to support a team captained by Cameron Smith.

  2. If Kiwis took out the Samoans in their team, let’s see what happens? Haha they’d be average and we’ve already seen what happens when they take out the Tongans hahahaha

  3. Really?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for JT13 playing for Tonga, but not telling the coach because “I was too drunk”, hmmmmm?

    So he couldn’t tell Kidwell before he got drunk, or after he sobered up. Was that because he hadn’t make the decision before he got drunk, and committed to it before he sobered up? “Drinking and Thinking” doesn’t always end well either just quietly.

    Good on him for representing Tonga, but the way he handled it with NZ was poor form.

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