Disgraced star Joel Monaghan has quit the NRL to save the Canberra Raiders from any further embarrassment from his Mad Monday atrocity.
Monaghan will walk away from his two year contract, believed to be around $250,000 a year to try and chase a fresh start in the English Super League. A move to England will likely be Monaghan’s only chance of employment next year as the NRL is likely to deregister him for 12 months.
The 27-year-old, who admits he recently began counselling to deal with alcohol problems, hopes to one day return to the NRL.
“It will be the saddest day of my life when I leave,” Monaghan said in his first interview since the crisis emerged.
“If I try to stay here, there is too big a chance of my club being damaged as a result of the outcry over my stupid prank.
“I caused this, I have to fix it – and that means I have to leave. I am a Canberra boy and it was always my dream to play for the Green Machine … and it really hurts that I have caused so much trouble.”
Monaghan’s manager Jim Banaghan has been in contact with several English clubs in the past 48 hours and is confident of getting him a start despite the disgusting nature of his Mad Monday behaviour.