London Irish tell Hala’Ufia to clean up his actBy Alan Manicom
June 15, 2012
London Irish have warned bad-boy Chris Hala’Ufia that he has no future at the club unless he cleans up his act.
Exiles’ No.8 was suspended for 18 weeks last season and featured in just nine games.
And director of rugby Brian Smith said: “The club has made Chris very aware of the standards that are required.
“He is a fantastic rugby player but he is of no value to his team-mates if he’s suspended half the year.
“That is what has happened last season and that’s not acceptable.
“What we’re saying to all the players is that you’ve got responsibilities to your team-mates first and foremost to make sure you stay on the park and give your team the best chance of winning.
“If you can’t abide by those basic principles, then we’ll move on without you. No-one is irreplaceable.
“We’ve shown that we can win without Chris.”
Hala’Ufia began last season in impressive form, playing in Irish’s opening six matches before receiving a seven-week ban for a dangerous charge on Gloucester’s Olly Morgan.
But two weeks after returning from suspension he was in trouble again.
He broke his own forearm in the Heineken Cup match against Racing Metro last December with a tackle on Gaetan Germain that was deemed dangerous enough to warrant a hefty 11-week ban.
His disciplinary hearing was delayed two months, though, until he returned to fitness.
So after making a brief comeback in an Aviva Premiership win over Northampton Saints in February, he was subsequently suspended for the rest of season.
It was Hala’Ufia’s fifth ban in the space of just over two years.
Smith, however, believes it is worth persevering with the 33-year-old Tonga international and revealed that the club will try to help him stay on the right side of referees.
But he warned that Hala’Ufia is treading a disciplinary tightrope.
He said: “We’re working through some things with Chris at the moment.
“He’s a hell of a rugby player. But if you’re only involved for half the season, that’s demonstrating your ill discipline and we’re not going to tolerate ill discipline.”