Sport Thaiday reveals how two mentors hurt him

11:28  12 july  2018
11:28  12 july  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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Retiring Broncos champion Sam Thaiday has given a raw and revealing interview to Nine's The Footy Show, with the star back-rower giving thoughtful takes on two of the biggest disappointments in his career.

Thaiday went public with his devastation when he was axed by the Kangaroos last year without so much as a phone call despite having a big part to play in the cultural overhaul of the national team under Mal Meninga.

During a difficult period in the twilight of his playing days, Thaiday was also hurt by Wayne Bennett's public declaration that 2018 would be the 33 year old's last season for the Broncos despite not having shared that decision with his player.

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Speaking from his Brisbane home with The Footy Show's Beau Ryan, Thaiday said the NRL and some of its most prominent personalities still had a lot of growing up to do when "tough conversations" were necessary.

"We're some of the strongest men going around because of the game we play but we refuse sometimes to have some of the tough conversations with one another and it's probably conversations that we need to have," Thaiday said.

Mal Meninga wearing a green shirt © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

On his dumping from the Kangaroos in 2017, Thaiday said he hadn't been given the respect earned by a player who had been a key part of the set up for a decade and had written the poem that provided the foundation for Meninga's now famous RISE team values.

"So yeah, it was fairly disappointing to be left out of the team and the way it kind of happened was a big slap in the face to be honest," Thaiday said.

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"I thought that I wasn't shown or given the respect I deserved and it was fairly heartbreaking for myself."

Thaiday hit out at the Kangaroos via an Instagram post at the time, with Meninga quickly apologising for the communication failure and admitting he had done the wrong thing by not making a personal phone call before the team was announced.

However, that disappointment was followed soon after by Bennett's declaration that Thaiday's career at the Broncos had an end date - another painful experience for the club stalwart.

a man holding a baseball bat © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

"I think, again, talking about having manly conversations with one another, that's probably something that Wayne should have ... a conversation he should have had with me before he'd spoken to anyone in the media about it," Thaiday said.

"You could play rugby league for the rest of your life and you want to play rugby league for the rest of your life and then you want to go out on your own terms and call your own exit.

" ... mine was through a decision that again was second hand news to me. That definitely was a tough pill to swallow."

  a man looking at the camera: Sam Thaiday relives the disappointment of his axing from the Kangaroos side. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Sam Thaiday relives the disappointment of his axing from the Kangaroos side.

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