Bitter war of words continues over Joseph-Okoso-Swalye’s defection to Wallabies… as he tells Australia’s rugby chief to ‘grow up and be a man’ after barbs
- Paul Kent called the head of the RA
- “He needs to grow up,” McLennan says.
- Suaalii’s defection from the NRL followed
The war of words following Joseph-Okoso-Swale’s defection to the Wallabies continued, with veteran rugby league journalist Paul Kent stating that Australian (RA) Rugby Chief Hamish McLennan needed to “grow up and be a man”.
Speaking on NRL 360, co-host Kent didn’t mince his words after McLennan teased more NRL players could follow Suaalii’s lead.
The 19-year-old struck a $4.8 million, three-year deal with Rugby Australia with a view to playing for the British and Irish national teams in 2025 and the Rugby World Cup on home soil two years later.
Suaalii would remain under contract with the Roosters for the next two NRL seasons.
After Bulldogs chairman Phil Gould declared earlier this week: ‘Now go. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. He goes. Now go,” tensions rose between the two rival footy symbols.
The war of words that followed Joseph Akosu-Swale’s defection to the Wallabies continued, with veteran rugby league journalist Paul Kent (pictured) saying Australian rugby chief Hamish McLennan needed to “grow up and be a man”
Speaking on NRL 360, Kent didn’t mince his words after Hamish McLennan (pictured) quipped that more NRL players could follow Akuso Suaalii’s lead
McLennan called a series of other comments – including a cheeky slam from Roosters hooker Brandon Smith – “bullying”.
His comments were met with great interest from Kent, who took aim at the RA chief on Wednesday.
“He’s the chairman of the board,” Kent said, “and I never heard of him before last week, but I’ll tell you what’s going on, he’s got a little problem with this guy.”
He (McLennan) is driven by ego and keeps talking about rugby league like… all these bulls**t that rugby guys keep saying, ‘Good for you playing the East Coast game – we’re traveling the world’. Well, good luck to you. The truth is That this (Australia) is where we live.
This whole situation in Suaalii is making rugby league more popular, so don’t try to win rugby league and call it a little game. The truth is, athletes are better.
Kent went on to reference comments from Roosters coach Trent Robinson: ‘As he said, in any rugby, league or union code, anywhere in the world, this is the number one competition – that’s the truth.
That’s why they come here and that’s why they like the way these guys play football.
“And he’s trying to get a little publicity out of rugby league, I think the sooner he gets quiet the better for everyone.”
Suaalii, 19, has defected to ARU in a bumper deal for three years from 2025 worth $4.8 million
Kent added: “He called the rugby league thugs today because they weren’t happy with the way this deal went through.
He was the one who did the little secret deal and he didn’t want the rugby league members to know what was going on.
“Come on, grow up and be a man about it.”