News24

Mealamu: Weepu out of shape

2012-04-11 09:04

Wellington - Blues captain Keven Mealamu has criticised his All Blacks Rugby World Cup team-mate Piri Weepu for starting the current Super Rugby season out of shape.

In a radio interview on Wednesday, Mealamu defended Blues' coach Pat Lam from the widespread criticism which has followed the team's 1-5 start to the season, the worst in its history.

The Blues, who have a roster heavy with All Blacks, are currently 14th on the Super Rugby table, kept out of last place only by points differential.

Mealamu said on Wednesday the Blues players retain full confidence in Lam and lashed out at new-signing Weepu, saying his poor state of fitness at the start of the season was disappointing.

Scrumhalf Weepu arrived from the Hurricanes this season along with his All Blacks team-mate Ma'a Nonu who was sacked by the Hurricanes' new coach Mark Hammett.

He has since struggled to establish himself in the Blues' starting lineup, or to gain much gametime from the bench because of a clear lack of fitness. Mealamu said the Blues needed a fully fit Weepu to help its struggle to turn around its troubled campaign.

"He's disappointed he turned up in that sort of shape," Mealamu told Radio Sport. "From the team's point of view, he's a player we could definitely do with out there.

"We're all professionals here, we shouldn't turn up in that sort of shape."

Mealamu said Lam, who has coached the Blues and the Auckland provincial team since 2007, should not be blamed for the poor start.

"We do back our coach," Mealamu said. "We want to do that by showing everyone on the field.

"I'm hurting at the moment. We are working hard to try to get our team back on track. Just really gutted we haven't got the season we wanted at the moment."

Mealamu also partially excused those Auckland players who went out drinking after last weekend's loss to the Melbourne Rebels, saying fans should not read that as a lack of concern among the squad.

"I'm disappointed people think like that," Mealamu said.

"I saw (the players) the next day and it's not like they went out and drank heavily. They had a couple of beers.

"But they probably shouldn't have been out tweeting they were out on the town. We are in a position where we are copping it from everywhere and it doesn't help."

AP

Comments
  • Chris - 2012-04-11 09:23

    He looks like he's in the same shape that Smith and Kallis were in a few years back.

  • Johan - 2012-04-11 09:29

    Haha!! I totally agree! I was wondering when somebody was going to say something.

  • Bootman - 2012-04-11 09:51

    I think Keven has overstepped the line by critisizing a team-mate in public. Would this conversation have taken place if the Blues had won a game or two more? Can the Blues abysmal season be blamed solely on the fitness of Weepu? Herein lies the Blues' problem.........a lack of professionalism. This is a topic that should have been discussed within the confines of the team room. I have just lost all my respect for Mealamu. That tannie from the Bulls should have moered you.

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-11 10:16

      What is wrong with criticising a team mate. I am surprised that no one actually mentioned it in the columns. This oke was in worse shape tha Ricki has ever been. What is amazing is that Pat lam actuallu played him. No wonder Hammet refused to work with them at the Saders.

      Bootman - 2012-04-11 10:33

      You mean the Hurricanes.........................nothing wrong with having a go at a team-mate, but in public?..........and the captain? Weepu might as well pack up and leave. I know if I were him I wouldnt want to play under Mealamu again after this. Call me aside and give me a tongue lashing if you must but dont go on a radio station and do it. Imagine if the Stormers were having a bad season and the players went out in public and bad mouthed each other. I don't know about you, but it smacks of unprofessionalism to me.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-04-11 11:46

      He might as well pack up and leave?? Or the can take the advice and work on his fitness? It people like you that would give up after the first obstacle. That tannie from the Bulls should have moered you - You are such a big mouth really why dont you tell him that to his face. The blues got the talent that is for sure. They just lack the solidity of team play.

  • Mike - 2012-04-11 09:52

    He attended the Ricky January scholl of Pie eating in the off season

      Bootman - 2012-04-11 10:51

      WTF is a scholl?

  • Taetjo - 2012-04-11 10:16

    LOL! I agree. I think I can also see cellulite on his thighs too... That's what you get for buying has-beens Pat Lam. That's exactly what you get.

  • EJ - 2012-04-11 10:50

    he got to change his KFC diet

  • Arthur - 2012-04-11 11:15

    If only we had this kind of honesty amongest our own players in SA

  • Johan - 2012-04-11 12:01

    What does he mean out of shape... round is a shape !!

  • Hennie - 2012-04-11 12:09

    No this is nonsense... first, you don't discuss team dynamics in public. Not on radio, or at a press conference. This is done behind those closed doors together with all the other conversations that the public is "Unaware" of. Second "why are you not performing?:" because one guy is out of shape... ! yeah right... so why are 22 people not performing ? is that because 1 guy is out of shape ? "No, it is because people are saying we are from Maori descent." So you don't think bad playing, or un-professionalism has anything to do with it ? What about bad coaching ? "No definitely not, we stand behind our coach. he lets us rip into each other in the media! Since he started coaching us our game and results have only dropped into the gutters, but at least we can talk sh1t about team mates on radio

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