Play All Stars after grand final, says Furner
Disappointed ... David Furner. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
CANBERRA are disappointed with the transparency from All Stars medical staff after young gun Jack Wighton played in Saturday night's match with a sprained wrist.
And coach David Furner has called for the clash to be moved to after the grand final, ensuring players don't jeopardise their health before the start of the NRL season.
Canberra were fuming when informed of the extent of Wighton's injury the day before the All Stars clash, won 32-6 by a classy Indigenous side.
The 20-year-old hurt his wrist at Raiders training just hours before flying out for All Stars camp. X-rays cleared him of any broken bones.
However, an MRI scan undertaken by the Indigenous All Stars in Brisbane revealed a small ligament tear.
Fairfax Media has learned the Raiders also stepped in to stop back-rower Joel Thompson from receiving a local anaesthetic to help him nurse an injured shoulder through the game. Canberra objected to the procedure, insisting they wouldn't administer the same treatment if Thompson was preparing for a trial match.
The developments come after Canberra confirmed they would ask the NRL to clarify why Melbourne's Billy Slater was allowed to play them in a trial on Friday, despite withdrawing from the All Stars.
Canberra wanted to withdraw Wighton and Thompson from the pre-season showpiece, but were warned by the NRL the players couldn't be named for the Storm trial.
Wighton and Thompson wouldn't have played in Friday's trial anyway, but the Raiders believe it is a case of double standards.
Furner had hoped to field his strongest side in Friday's 40-8 trial win over Melbourne, and said moving the All Stars until after the NRL season would prevent such disruptions.
''I like the concept, but don't do it at the start of the year, do it at the end of the year or something,'' Furner said. ''At the end of the day we are preparing these players to play NRL, not an exhibition match.
''We had the most representatives in the Indigenous side and I have no problems with that, but I think it should be done at the end of the year. I think we have to sit down and redirect that game.''
■ Parramatta have investigated claims made against fringe first-grader Lorenzo Ma'afu relating to a nightclub incident on Saturday night. The Eels have spoken to police, who cleared the 25-year-old of any wrongdoing.