The Canberra Raiders 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.
Canberra was 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 the All Stars camp, and X-rays cleared him of any broken bones.
However, an MRI scan undertaken by the Indigenous All Stars in Brisbane this week revealed a small ligament tear. The Canberra Times has learnt 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, saying they wouldn't administer the same treatment if Thompson was preparing for a trial match.
Wighton was outstanding after coming on in the second half, his injury not appearing to give him discomfort.
The developments come after Canberra confirmed it will 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.
Raiders coach David Furner called for the All Stars clash to be moved to after the grand final, ensuring players don't jeopardise their health before the start of the season.
‘'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.
He also believes the Queensland and New South Wales Emering Origin camps should be held before Christmas.
‘‘At the end of the day we are preparing these players to play NRL, not an exhibition match,’’ Furner said.
‘‘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.’’