It is not often that we see a player facing a potential Origin ban, but for Eels back Willie Tonga, he faces just that – with the Emerging QLD Squad member facing a two year ban for going AWOL during the training camp.
Despite that, and with no decision made as of yet, Tonga is remorseful about the actions that took place, and has made a heartfelt appeal to the QLD hierarchy not to ban him from the Origin arena.
Tonga was disappointed at what happened and knows that he let himself down, and will fight for his future in Origin next week, as he faces a four-man panel – with the centre hopeful that he will not get a ban.
“Obviously I wouldn’t like to get a ban,” Tonga said yesterday.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but I’ve put myself in this position and if it happens, I have to accept it.
“I let the coaches down, myself down, the players and my club as well. I’ve come back to Parramatta now and I’m trying to focus on starting the season well.
“I’ve spoken to the coaches (Bennett and Meninga). I had a brief chat with Mal. We didn’t chat for too long but we talked about what happened.
“I certainly didn’t plan it. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I’m disappointed with what I did and I’m trying to move on.”