Avondale player cleared of wee problem

An Avondale rugby player at the centre of a wee controversy is free to play today, after denying he deliberately urinated on himself to put rival players off tackling him.

Illawarra District Rugby Union (IDRU) officials held a meeting with the player and members of the Avondale club on Thursday night, following a complaint from last Saturday’s opponents Vikings.

The player claimed he had poured water around his groin region in response to taunts from spectators during the game, won by Avondale 31-13, at Vikings Field.

IDRU chairman Peter Woods said there would be no further action taken.

‘‘He’s denied the claim and there has to be a presumption of innocence,’’ Woods told the Mercury.

‘‘He had wet shorts, but there’s no evidence to back up claims the wetness was urine.

‘‘If someone had made a statement saying they tackled the bloke and he stunk of urine then we’d look at it, but [the player] has denied what is alleged.

‘‘We only became aware of this allegation on Tuesday.

‘‘The crowd [at the game] was brought up as a factor, but there’s no further evidence to suggest he’s done what is alleged.’’

However, rival players and officials are not satisfied with the outcome.

One official of a club not involved in the Avondale-Vikings game, who asked not to be named, said the player was well known for previously urinating on his own shorts.

‘‘It’s happened in the past and he’s obviously played up to it since,’’ he said.

‘‘It doesn’t surprise me to see something being made of it again now.

‘‘It’s a bit like the blood rule, there’s health and safety issues there and if nothing else it’s just pretty ordinary to have to tackle a bloke you suspect might have done it.’’

Shoalhaven coach Mike Hayes declined to comment before today’s clash with Avondale at Shoalhaven Rugby Park.

Vikings had made the complaint, claiming the Illawarra rugby board had a responsibility to act.

President Mark McDonald said the club did not want to make the complaint, but said it was necessary the issue be brought to the IDRU's attention.

Avondale club secretary David Brace also declined to comment on the issue, while president Roger Cairns and first grade coach James Patrick did not answer the Mercury's calls yesterday.