Powerhouse centre Ben Te’o has spoken about the altercation with fullback Mike Brown which cost the England duo their Rugby World Cup chances.
The Times reported that the pair were stood down in the build up to the tournament in 2019 following an altercation that occurred between the pair at a team social event.
The event was ironically scheduled to foster better relationships within the team, but backfired spectacularly.
“To be honest, I don’t think it was that big of a deal,” revealed Te’o, who was finally breaking his silence on the incident.
“We (he and Brown) actually got along quite fine but sometimes things happen when guys have a few too many drinks.
“When I woke up in the morning I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. But obviously for some people, maybe a leadership group or something along those lines, it was big deal to them.
“Eddie rang me and said he wasn’t going to take me to the World Cup. He was pretty upset with me.
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“At that stage I was already packing up my house and moving my family because they were going to come back here to Australia while I was going to be at the World Cup in Japan.
“I was like, ‘Oh, well that was an interesting end to the last three and a half years of work I put in.'”
After crossing codes, Te’o made his England debut two months before his 30th birthday. His first Test try came on his Six Nations debut only 98 seconds after he had taken the field against France in February 2017 as a replacement for George Ford.
Ben featured in all of England’s 2018 Six Nations Championship matches. He debuted for the British & Irish Lions against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at Whangarei in the opening match of the 2017 tour. Three weeks later, he played in the first Test against the All Blacks at Auckland.
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Six infamous fights between players on the same side
Here are five occasions when things got a little bit too competitive between teammates.
1. Lopeti Timani & Amanaki Mafi, 2018
An image of Lopeti Timani with two swollen eyes has revealed the extent of his fight with Rebels teammate Amanaki Mafi in Dunedin. Mafi and Timani fought after the side’s season-ending loss against the Highlanders.