Wallaby quits after clash with fan
An emotional Lukhan Tui sensationally told Wallabies teammates on Saturday evening he did not want to play football for the rest of the year after he was involved in an ugly altercation with a fan as tempers boiled over following a disastrous Wallabies loss to the Pumas on the Gold Coast.
Shortly after fulltime in a match Australia lost 23–19, television cameras showed footage of a fan verbally abusing Tui and several other Wallabies players who were still on the ground.
Footage showed Tui and the fan confronting each other after the man was understood to have pushed the Australian back-rower’s sister in the lead-up to the incident.
A Rugby Australia spokesperson said the matter was being investigated and that while police did not arrest the man involved, his details and another fan’s have been taken in the aftermath of an altercation.
Security guards detained the two men.
Tui’s stepfather passed away suddenly on Wednesday and it is understood he was very close with him.
After an emotional week for Tui, Cheika said his player wanted some time away from the game.
‘‘[It got] to a point where the player is in the dressing room [saying] he’s not going to be playing anymore because of that incident,’’ Cheika said. ‘‘I hope the fan is happy.’’
Asked to clarify what Tui had said, Cheika replied: ‘‘He’s not going to play and he needs a rest. That’s a pretty heavy thing to happen. He just said it in the dressing room to players now off the back of a very difficult dressing room. It’s not what you want to have.’’
A Wallabies spokesperson clarified that Tui asked to have the rest of the year off and it understood Cheika is trying to persuade him to change his mind.