6 times rugby stars went AWOL – starring Vegas and working down a mine

And before any of you bloody rabble start with the “Player X goes missing for Team Y every week” nonsense, we’re talking about players who have gone AWOL here, not MIA…

1. Sonny Bill Williams

In 2008, Williams wanted out of his deal with the Bulldogs and was eyeing up a career switch to union. However, instead of negotiating a release, he jumped on a plane and linked up with cashed-up French club Toulon. The move caused plenty of outrage in Australia with the Bulldogs chasing compensation.

2. Leone Nakarawa

The lock was sacked by Racing 92 in late 2019 for his late return to the Paris club after representing his country at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The 31-year-old was due back at the club on October 28, but Racing’s statement stated he was absent without permission for two weeks beyond his return date – adding that his actions demonstrated “a total lack of team spirit and a marked insubordination”.

The club also claims that the player did not answer their messages during his absence, criticising his “deplorable example” to team-mates.

3. Martin Castrogiovanni

Racing 92 suspended their prop forward in 2016 after pictures emerged of the rugby player partying in Las Vegas with Paris Saint-Germain footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Castrogiovanni told the club he could not feature in the team’s Champions Cup showdown with Leicester Tigers at the weekend due to the fact he had family matters to attend to in Argentina. 

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