NRL player Siosifa Talakai was very close to a blue jersey a few weeks ago when police charged him with a driving offence and prompted his nomination for The Fronwlow 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.
On the eve of Origin selections, Talakai was caught driving on an expired licence in southern Sydney and was ordered to face court to defend the charge. The Cronulla Sharks centre then compounded the matter when he did not attend court and was issued with an arrest warrant.
Apparently, the Sharks didn’t know about the incident until informed by a news outlet, but later said that his no show was due to an ‘oversight’. The barnstorming centre was originally left out of the team to face the Warriors as a result of the matter, but was reinstated to the team and given permission to play.
Judges of The Fronwlow Medal hope Talakai accepts the invitation to attend the awards night for the medal and the hall of fame later this year, and stress that they will be very offended if he does not show up.
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