Why are we called Rebels?

Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili play rugby for the Melbourne Rebels but got into trouble for being rebels. The trio were dropped from the next Wallabies game after breaking team curfew to have a few drinks together, and have earned nominations for The Frownlow Medal.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Koroibete, Fa’amausili and Naisarani will not play in the Bledisloe Cup against the All Blacks after taking leftover alcohol to their room to continue drinking after an official team function. The players apparently kept drinking for more than two hours and were reported by a team official.

The official statement from the Wallabies said there was “no illegal behaviour, no damage and no complaints made. No further investigation will take place, or any further action”. Thus, there was no rebellion, aside from breaking curfew. Even when the Rebels rebelled they did not stage a rebellion or do anything particularly rebellious. They must be wondering why they’re called Rebels.

Koroibete was nominated for Frownlow honours in 2019 for ‘liking’ the homophobic social media posts which saw Israel Folau kicked out of rugby in Australia. Naisarani and Fa’amausili earn their first nominations, and all three players will be looking forward to the Frownlow awards night, where they can drink as much as they like for as long as they like.

Image: NuNa


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