Captain Cubicle and the Titty Fiddler.

Captain Cubicle and the Titty Fiddler lead the contenders for The Fronwlow Medal as the winter codes head into the 2022 finals.

Kalyn Ponga and his trusty servant Kurt Mann join Dustin Martin and a cast of footballing role models who have excelled themselves off the field – but neither are favourites to win the prestigious 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 NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

Ponga and Mann were filmed being escorted out of a toilet cubicle in Newcastle. They were fully clothed, with drinks in hand, and claimed that Mann was helping his captain to vomit after consuming too many drinks to celebrate a house purchase. This was later found to be a lie, and the real reason was never revealed. While neither player was punished, the incident ended a horrible season for Ponga’s Knights.

This was not the first Fronwlow nomination for Mann or Ponga, nor for the Titty Fiddler. Martin appeared in a leaked video appearing to (allegedly) touch a woman’s breast from behind during a social gathering at an entertainment venue. The video was apparently taken in 2015, but released the day before Richmond’s crucial finals game against Brisbane, prompting concern for Martin and the Tigers heading into the game, but not for the woman who was (allegedly) touched without consent. As we learned in previous seasons, Martin is not the only Richmond player who likes to fondle other people’s private parts.

George Burgess of the St George Illawarra Dragons was also in trouble for (allegedly) touching a woman without consent, but is waiting for the outcome of his court case.

Martin was allowed to play in the final, despite the video, as was Taylan May, who was caught on CCTV assaulting a man at a bar in Brisbane in 2021, but cleared to play for Penrith in the crucial NRL final against arch rivals Parramatta, and allowed to delay his two-match suspension until 2023.

Frownlow favourite Jordan de Goey made his annual bid for glory. The Collingwood star was nominated in 2017, 2018 and 2020, and 3 times in 2021. He has also earned two nominations in 2022. He appears in a lewd video in which someone tries to expose a woman’s breasts in a bar in Bali, then blames the media for mistreating him and resorts to the hashtag ‘Enough is Enough’ to avoid punishment. The hashtag is used to support victims of mass shootings in the USA. He then blamed mental health issues and ADHD for his behaviour.

Bailey Smith also cited mental health issues to justify his latest indiscretion. The Golden Mullet was punished for appearing in a social media post holding a bag of white powder, and is no stranger to Frownlow judges or the darker corners of social media.

The AFL an NRL stars listed above have all put their hand up and done the hard yards to win the Frownlow this year, but none of them are favourite. The favourite helped earn nominations for Manly trio Josh Schuster, Josh Aloiai and Haumole Olakau’atu, who used a televised NRL game to show support for their friend Manase Fainu.

Fainu is the favourite (at the time of writing) after he was recently found guilty of stabbing a man outside a Mormon Church dance in Sydney in 2019. He will never play NRL again and might have to accept the medal from behind bars, where he will have plenty of time to pray.

Fainu should feel confident about winning the biggest prize in Australian sport, but should not start celebrating. A week is a long time in football, so four months is plenty of time to make a run for The Fronwlow Medal. What’s more, we haven’t heard any reports of scandalous behaviour from AFL and NRL Mad Monday celebrations…yet.

Image: Getty Images

Extreme Gardening with Rex Hunt.

Former AFL player Rex Hunt orchestrated a masterful publicity stunt to announce his return to the big screen as host of Extreme Gardening.

Hunt was recently caught on camera appearing to wield a garden fork during a road rage incident in Victoria, and has earned himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame as well as valuable publicity for the new series.

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 NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Hunt was reportedly involved in a minor road accident in suburban Melbourne which forced both drivers out of their cars. Reports indicate that the other male driver threw a punch. Hunt then channeled his experience as an AFL commentator and host of Rex Hunt’s Fishing Adventure to earn valuable publicity for Extreme Gardening. The former full-forward walked back to his car and retrieved a garden fork, with which witnesses alleged he lunged at the other driver. He was then heard yelling:

“You wanna die? You wanna die? Do you want to die?”

But that’s not all.

Hunt appeared to walk several laps of the block to cool down, but was actually employing his TV smarts to provoke the other driver into chasing him on foot and drawing out the conflict, the same way a TV writer will draw out a successful series for as many episodes as possible.

The other man obliged, and is said to have “run after Rex in an aggressive manner” and then was seen “throwing punches at trees”, according to a Channel Nine reporter. It’s not clear whether Hunt anticipated or orchestrated the shadow boxing, but it certainly made for great vision for the mainstream media which lapped up the story and gave Hunt the publicity he so desperately craves.

Hunt’s wife eventually succeeded in calling him back to his car and no official police report was made as it later became clear that the incident was a carefully-planned publicity stunt.

“It’s gonna be massive folks,” declared Hunt at the official launch of Extreme Gardening held just after the road rage incident.

“This is Extreme Gardening. Not your namby-pamby, woke, pinko, bolshie, luvy-duvvy organic gardening shows with wogs and permacultural pretty boys. This is real gardening for real men. And don’t expect to see any women on the show, they should never be allowed as far as the garden, let alone in an AFL commentary booth.”

Extreme Gardening will be full of action and men being men, just like the good old days. You thought today was crazy, wait till the show comes to 7Mate later this year.”

Hunt was then asked to confirm whether he actually said:

“You wanna die? You wanna die? Do you want to die?”

He replied:

“You bloody bet I did mate. That’s what I used to say to the little fishies before I cast my line on my fishing show, and I’ll say it a lot on Extreme Gardening, wait and see.”

As well as priceless publicity, the stunt earned Hunt a nomination for The Fronwnlow Medal after years of trying.

The former St Kilda, Geelong and Richmond player made his first attempt in 2004. He was forced to remove his pants and shoes after setting off a metal detector at an airport, so he stole ten metal forks from the Qantas club and took them onto a Qantas flight to highlight flaws in airport security. He was detained upon arrival in Melbourne for questioning and released without charges.

His second attempt involved good ol’ casual racism, a Frownlow staple. While commentating in 2005, he called Indigenous AFL player Leon Davis ‘as black as a dog’ and was later forced to apologise. After a racist slur, he resorted to another Fronwlow staple, a drunken fight. He and his son were involved in a drunken scuffle with teenagers in Byron Bay in 2005.

Hunt’s third attempt involved infidelity and hypocrisy. In 2006 he finally confessed to cheating on his wife with different women, who he apparently paid during the fifteen year period. The cheating apparently cost him up to $1000 a week with one woman, and forced him to admit he had been hypocritical after attacking other famous people for infidelity.

Speaking about the cheating on radio, he said:

“That’s what a fool does. I’m invincible, I’m paying money…uh…The girl’s happy, she’s got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?”

Finally, Hunt sought more attention in 2022 when claiming that women should not be AFL commentators.

Fans of reality TV can expect more of these harmless high jinks when Extreme Gardening premieres on 7Mate later this year.

Image: http://www.radiotoday.com.au

The massive problem facing rugby league and rugby union.

You can’t please all the people all the time, but rugby codes are attempting to do just that. They are attempting to appease the LGBTQIA+ community and the devoutly religious at the same time.

Several Manly players recently refused to play in an upcoming NRL match to protest the club’s rainbow jersey promoting the LGBTQIA+ community, and the incident highlights the dangers of sporting organisations trying to appease every member of the community simultaneously.

Seven players are considering boycotting the game against the Sydney Roosters because they object to the promotion of LGBTQIA+ rights on religious grounds. All seven players are devoutly religious and mostly of Pasifika heritage. Players are also angry that they were not consulted about the ‘rainbow’ jersey and that they learned about it through social media.

Manly is the first NRL club to wear a rainbow jersey, and the incident highlights an issue confronting rugby league and rugby union into the future. The jersey was introduced in order to promote inclusion and diversity, and was created to include ‘everyone’ at the northern beaches club.

But does it include everyone?

Obviously not. It does not ‘include’ devout Christians and players of Pasifika heritage, the latter so strongly opposed to the jersey that they are willing to sit out an important game, and presumably sacrifice match payments. Manly is very, very unlikely to win the game against the Roosters without Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley. (That is, unless the Roosters players of Pasifika heritage also sit out the game in solidarity). It is being called a ‘must win’ game for the Sea Eagles as they try to finish inside the top 8, having already lost superstar Tom Trbojevic through injury.

Furthermore, the jersey is surely an example of bad timing. It will be worn during ‘Women in League’ round, and this debate will take most of the attention away from women and their great contribution to the game.

The conundrum

Does Manly appease a small section of their supporter base, or potential new supporters, or does the club appease an existing group of people on whom they are dependant? Put simply, you can’t win NRL (or Super Rugby) games without Pasifika players.

“Never just about pride”

Manly owner Scott Penn argues the jersey is not just about promoting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, but in the modern context, ‘inclusion and diversity’ is used to welcome members of the LBGTQIA+ community. This is a large community, but it does not encompass everyone. It does not encompass the devoutly religious, and it does not include most rugby league and rugby union players of Pasifika heritage.

What is it really about?

Manly may be genuinely attempting to welcome members of the LGBTQIA+ community into a sport traditionally closed to non-heteronormative people – or the club could simply be chasing the lucrative Pink Dollar.

The issue will plague rugby league and union from now and into the future. Inclusion and diversity is becoming more prominent in social discourse every year, and every major organisation and corporation must declare a public policy on this subject. Sporting codes must also address the issue. At the same time, rugby league and rugby union must welcome and respect the Pasifika community.

Players of Pasifika heritage comprise about 50% of the registered players in the NRL, and the current Wallabies squad includes 16 of 34 players. Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua debuted in Super Rugby in 2022.

The women’s game is also not immune to the issue. In fact, it may be even more susceptible to the clash of two opposing ‘stakeholders’. Pasifika players also comprise a high percentage of players across the two rugby codes in the women’s game, but also includes more players in openly same-sex relationships. Interestingly, only one ARL/NRL player has ever come out as openly gay, and that was former Manly player Ian Roberts. Women’s football, meanwhile, has already experienced a conflict in this regard.

Haneen Zreika refused to wear the pride jersey when her Greater Western Sydney Giants AFLW team played against Western Bulldogs in 2022 because she is a devout Muslim. Zreika sat out that game. The AFL has a far longer history of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community than league or union, but was not immune to controversy. The Giants were stuck between reaching out to the LGBTQIA+ community, while appeasing the large Muslim community in their heartland of Western Sydney. That said, the incident passed without a great deal of controversy, especially compared to the controversy which surrounded Israel Folau’s social media comments.

Folau lost his contract with Rugby Australia after posting homophobic comments on social media. Folau held the same views while playing AFL (for the Giants) and NRL. Many former teammates from across the three codes ‘liked’ Folau’s comments and thus endorsed them. Many of those players were of Pasifika heritage.

Rugby Australia relies heavily on Pasifika talent, as outlined above, but also relies heavily on sponsorship dollars, much of which was coming from Qantas at the time of Folau’s faux pas. Qantas proudly welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community and is being run by the openly gay Alan Joyce. One cannot underestimate the influence of sponsors (and the Pink Dollar) in the decisions of sporting clubs regarding diversity and inclusion.

The future

Fellow NRL clubs will surely follow Manly’s precedent. It’s inevitable. Their players will have to make a choice – or be forced to make a choice, and the same applies to players in rugby union, many of whom have Pasifika heritage and are devoutly religious. The rugby codes, meanwhile, will have to negotiate a very complex situation in order to keep up with community attitudes and appease a community which sustains the standard of their ‘product’.

Image: NuNa

What’s the difference between Haneen Zreika and Israel Folau?

AFLW player Haneen Zreika and former AFL player Israel Folau both attracted criticism for their public stance on same-sex relationships, but what is the difference between the two?

Zreika plays for Folau’s former club Greater Western Sydney Giants, and surrounded herself in controversy after refusing to wear a special rainbow jersey promoting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. Folau was eventually kicked out of rugby union, which he played as well as rugby league, because he posted two social media messages which offended the LGBTQIA+ community.

Zreika refused to wear the pride jersey with her Giants teammates due to her strong Muslim faith, and was subsequently left out of the team for the game against Western Bulldogs. Zreika was the first Muslim AFLW player when she debuted in 2019. Folau offended the LGBT+ community due to homophobia grounded in his strong Christian beliefs, and essentially wrote that all homosexuals go to hell.

The role of religion.

Zreika and Folau justified their stance on religious grounds. Zreika said she had a responsibility to represent her faith and community and that she respects people regardless of their sexual orientation.

Does she?

The faith she represents declares homosexuality a sin. The doctrine of the Muslim faith, when applied in society, declares homosexuality a crime which can, in some cases, be punishable by death.

Is Zreika devout?

Zreika chose not to wear the pride jersey due to her devotion. However, she wears the typical AFLW uniform every week and this is far too revealing for a Muslim woman, displaying the limbs and the hair. If Zreika was devout, would she not cover up even when playing sport, as many women from Muslim countries do in many other sports?

Interestingly, she did actually play in the pride round, the week before the jersey was worn, and ran through the traditional AFL banner at the start of the game which celebrated the LGBT+ community, and read:

“Pride round: an inclusive game for all. Everyone is welcome.”

The pride jersey was delayed until the Giants played at home the following week. Thus, did Zreika object to the pride round, or just the jersey? How likely is it that she was criticised by the Muslim community for participating in pride round and felt pressured to make a stance the following week?

To what extent was the decision Zreika’s, and to what extent was the opinion of the Muslim community, and its powerful men, made known to Zreika?

We will probably never know.

Religion also motivated Folau’s comments. The cross-code star posted a message claiming that hell was God’s plan for homosexuals. This attracted enormous criticism from many people, but Folau defended the comments as being true to his strong Christian faith. He was also warned that if he posted another similar message, he would lose his contract with Rugby Australia. He did so, and lost his contract.

Zreika posted a message on social media saying:

“…people are able to respect their right to choose how they live their life as long as they don’t advocate hate and division.”

Folau’s post clearly created hate and division, and this is the major difference between him and Zreika. Throughout the entire ugly process, Folau claimed he should be free to express his views because they are based on his religious beliefs.

Zreika is a Muslim.

Various commentators have suggested that the only difference is that Zreika is a Muslim, and that is why she has not been criticised as strongly as Folau. These commentators suggest that Australians are too scared to criticise Muslims due to political correctness of for fear of being labelled Islamophobic. They also claim these same people have no problems attacking Christians like Folau.

You can’t please all the people all the time…

The governing body has made great efforts to embrace all members of Australian society. They are the first and only major sports code in Australia to host a pride round.

Why?

Out of a genuine respect for the LGBT+ community?

Because they’re chasing the pink dollar?

Because many AFLW players are lesbians? (Are any AFL players gay?)

Political correctness?

For whatever, the AFL is known to include the LGBT+ community. They also embrace the Muslim community, especially in Giants territory. The fact that Zreika plays for the Giants added another complication for the AFL. Western Sydney is home to the majority of Sydney’s Muslim community, and if they are going to support any AFL team, it is the Giants.

The game involving the rainbow jersey, however, was played at Henson Park in Sydney’s inner west, a region famous for embracing gender and sexual diversity.

Was the Zreika case inevitable? Was the AFL bound to find itself in an unwinnable situation by publicly courting two communities which are diametrically opposed? One can only imagine the stressful meetings which must have taken place within the Giants and the AFL who were both desperate to avoid offending either group, while supporting both.

Some AFL fans are Muslim.

Some AFL fans are homosexual.

Some AFL fans don’t like Muslims or homosexuals.

The AFL is trying to appease them all.

It’s not possible to support the LGBT+ community and the Muslim community while Muslims consider homosexuality a sin or a crime. The AFL thinks it can. That said, the AFL could be said to have taken a stand. Zreika was stood down for the game, which punished her and her teammates.

Zreika has the support and respect of her teammates.

Zreika consulted her teammates, spoke to them face to face, and discussed her actions with the Giants and the AFL. Folau posted a spontaneous, offensive and hurtful message on social media, without context. Zreika certainly went about her actions in a far more mature, civilised, intelligent and respectful manner than Folau.

While Zreika reportedly had the support of her teammates, Folau also did, at least after the fact. Many professional footballers, including Gary Ablett Jr, Tim Mannah, Brad Takairangi, Curtis Rona and Taniela Tupou ‘liked’ and endorsed his posts on social media.

It’s only sport

The case also highlights the enormous strain placed on sport in Australia. Sport is so vital to Australian culture that social causes and social conflicts often manifest in sport – which is ultimately supposed to be nothing more than healthy fun. Perhaps Australians are expecting too much of sport as a vehicle for social change.

Haneen Zreika and Israel Folau both offended the LGBTQIA+ community with actions grounded in their strong religious beliefs. Folau was nominated for The Fronwlow Medal, should Zreika also be nominated?

So, what if the difference between them?

Zreika can actually play Aussie Rules.

Image: NuNa

Deni Varnhagen is welcome here.

AFLW player Deni Varnhagen can attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal later this year, whether she is vaccinated or not. Varnhagen received her nomination after her anti-vax stance saw the Adelaide Crows put her on the inactive list.

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.

Varnhagen becomes only the third woman ever to be nominated for Fronwlow honours, and it is her staunch anti-vaccination stance which has earned her that great honour. She is refusing to be vaccinated, despite the AFL rule that all players and football staff must receive their first vaccination by November 19, and must be fully vaccinated by December 17.

But that doesn’t matter at the Frownlow night of nights. Disgraced players from the four codes gather for a night of drunken debauchery, rampant drug use, unrestricted racism, sexism, homophobia, drink driving, brawling and bromance. No rules, no restrictions, no consequences. It is a hedonistic celebration of everything the players did to earn their invitation.

Varnhagen is also defying the rules of her second employer. She is a registered nurse and Hospital workers in South Australia are now also required to be vaccinated according to the latest health order.

She is determined to be free of a vaccination. She also seems to be determined to be free of an income.

Varnhagen hasn’t lost her contract with the Crows – yet. She has been delisted and told by the club that she can play for them again, and be fully paid, if she agrees to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Varnhagen can start planning her attack on the Frownlow awards night, alongside fellow female nominees Nita Maynard and Millie Boyle.

Image: NuNa

Corey Norman has something to say.

NRL player Corey Norman has a message:

“Don’t forget me!”

“I won The Frownlow Medal before and I’ll win it again,” said the 2016 medallist.

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.

Norman made the statement after receiving a possible two-match suspension and $20,000 fine from the NRL for his involvement in a street brawl in January. Norman and fellow league player James Segeyaro fought with a group of men outside a bar in Cronulla and were caught on security cameras.

Segeyaro and Norman are friends and business partners, jointly operating the clothing label YTKR, which stands for ‘You Know the Rules’. Apparently they don’t, because Segeyaro is a former Frownlow nominee and is currently serving a ban from the NRL due to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Norman won the medal in 2016 due to illicit drug use, social media controversy, a sex tape, intoxication and a salary cap scandal.

Will Norman win The Frownlow Medal in 2016?

No one has ever won it twice. It is possible, but the St George-Illawarra player faces strong opposition. Four league players are currently being investigated for violence against women, and another player for stabbing someone outside a church dance. However, none of these players has been found guilty, so Norman is still in with a fighting chance.

Image: NuNa

Stuart Dew unleashes a torrent.

Former AFL player Stuart Dew started urinating in public two years ago-and has only just finished. The rotund coach of the Gold Coast Suns let forth a river after a drinking session in 2018 and has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after footage of the incident was recently leaked.

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 NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Dew won premierships as a player with Port Adelaide and Hawthorn and currently coaches the Suns, and was filmed relieving himself outside the Miami Tavern Shark Barn in Queensland. Reports indicate that the Gold Coast club knew about the video months ago but decided not to take action.

The footage was apparently filmed by a staff member of the club who is believed to have released it after being let go by the Suns.

Dew, meanwhile, will have another chance to provide Australians with drought relief when he attends the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year.

Image: NuNa

Daniel Kerr’s second Frownlow nomination is more than a bit of fun.

Former AFL player Daniel Kerr claims that passing out drunk in the street in Kalgoorlie was just a bit of fun, but his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame is dead serious.

The West Coast Eagles hero was found by a member of the public asleep on the street in the outback town after what he described as a harmless night out with his mates. He was assessed by police and later released.

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 NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Kerr was far more serious when he spoke of his second nomination for the most prestigious award in Australian sport.

“I got my first nomination in 2016, with my Dad,” he explained.

“We didn’t get inducted into the hall of fame, even though we did stuff like forging prescriptions, setting a house on fire, assault, alcohol abuse and even getting in a fight with Ben Cousins. We were ripped off – and I reckon I should be inducted this year.”

Kerr is determined to right the wrongs of the past and see himself in the hall of fame alongside players such as Cousins and Brendan Fevola, and this is why he travelled all the way to the remote mining town to get on the booze with his mates. Passing out in the main street was a statement that Kerr is serious about attracting the attention of Frownlow judges yet again.

The former Eagle is seeking glory, but also a free lifetime pass to the awards ceremony for The Frownlow Medal and the hall of fame, at which inductees are given free food and drink, and any other substances they can acquire.

Image: NuNa

Bali bar biff earns David Fifita a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

One of the hottest prospects in the NRL has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being arrested in Bali for alleged involvement in a violent incident at a nightclub. David Fifita was arrested and thrown into a cell on the party island after being accused of fighting with a security guard.

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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.

Fifita was arrested after an alleged assault at La Favela nightclub, the same location where Nelson Asofa-Solomona earned his recent Frownlow nomination. It was also reported that he had not been fully questioned by police because he was too drunk to properly answer questions.

The Frownlow nomination comes just weeks before the announcement of The Frownlow medallist for 2019, and just weeks after Fifita captained the junior Kangaroos. An official from Fifita’s club, the Brisbane Broncos, has flown to Bali to assist the young star through the investigation.

So, will Fifita win The Frownlow Medal for 2019?

That is a very tough question to answer. This year has been one of the most competitive since the award’s inception, with contenders such as Jarryd Hayne, Jack de Belin, Jaidyn Stephenson, Scott Bolton and Manase Fainu all attracting the attention of judges.

Fifita now has to hope that he is released from his Bali jail cell in time to attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Image: NuNa

Sam Burgess farewells the NRL with a late bid for The Frownlow Medal.

Retiring NRL player Sam Burgess has marked his departure from the game with a last-minute bid to win The Frownlow Medal.

The England international earned his nomination after being charged with intimidation, just moments after announcing his retirement from the sport.

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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.

It is alleged that Burgess was involved in an altercation with his father-in-law at the home of his children. The incident led police to take out a temporary apprehended violence order on the former Rabbitoh, and he will face court in the near future.

Burgess has been nominated for Frownlow honours before. In 2016, he was caught taking a photo of himself while driving. He later posted the image on his own social media account.

The rampaging and gifted forward now has another huge party to look forward to, and is hoping that the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame proves as memorable as his holiday in Mexico.

Image: NuNa