Monaghan quits the NRL but vows to be back

In order to put the Canberra Raiders through potentially more embarrassment, disgraced Raiders centre Joel Monaghan has quit the club as a result of his Mad Monday actions.

The decision for Monaghan to quit is expected to be announced tomorrow by the man himself to the Raiders board, bringing an end to his tenure at the Raiders as he looks to start afresh in the ESL.

The NRL were horrified at the events that occurred at the Mad Monday celebrations, and are planning to de-register Monaghan for a year, thus preventing him from playing in Australia during that time.

The 27-year old shocked the entire NRL world with the photos, but he says that he was undergoing counselling for previous alcohol problems, but he vows to be back.

“It will be the saddest day of my life when I leave,” says Monaghan.

“If I try to stay here, there is too big a chance of my club being damaged as a result of the outcry over my stupid prank.”

“The Raiders board don’t deserve to be put under any more pressure, and neither to our sponsors or players.

“I caused this, I have to fix it – and that means I have to leave. I am a Canberra boy and it was always my dream to play for the Green Machine … and it really hurts that I have caused so much trouble.”

Jim Banaghan, Monaghan’s manager has been in talks with several ESL clubs and his confident of getting his client a deal to play in the ESL.

“As gross and foolish as it was, nothing actually happened with the animal,” Banaghan said.

“It was just a set-up gag and a really dumb prank between a group of young men who should have known better.”

For Monaghan, he felt that quitting the club despite having a 2 year contract remaining worth $250,000 was the right thing to do for both his sake and the club’s sake.

“I have to put the club first, and the only way is if I walk away and hope that people will recognise that while I did an idiotic thing , that I do have some decency and I really do care about our game,” he said.

“Eventually I would love to return, but I have to let some time pass before I even think about it.”

The former Kangaroos and NSW Origin centre said he is not angry with the unidentified Canberra team-mate who took the infamous photo and then circulated it on email and text message.

“We are all good mates,” he said. “It makes me cry to think that I have let them down, as I will not be here next year to help them.

“We have a young team and my experience was really needed to help Furnsey [coach David Furner] and the senior leadership group with our squad.

“I don’t know how it will be when I have to leave Canberra, but it will be the saddest day of my life.

“One single, stupid moment on one day has caused all this pain to so many people.

“I actually gave up the drink a short time ago and I have been attending counselling before this all blew up.

“I hope to come back to Canberra after I play overseas, and I hope people will give me a fair go. I love Canberra and I love the Raiders and I love my family – and this is our home.”

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