New Zealand Warriors chief executive Cameron George says paying for Ronald Volkman’s shoulder surgery “was the right thing to do” but he wasn’t forced by the NRL or Rugby League Players Association.
The 21-year-old left the Warriors at the end of last year despite having two years on his deal to take up a 12-month contract with the St George-Illawarra Dragons. He had started training with the club despite having not officially registered the contract with the NRL and a medical revealed he needed season-ending surgery.
Neither club had to pay the medical bill given he was not under contract. The surgery is reported to cost about $50,000.
Speaking to the Herald this afternoon, George said the club was in the process of bringing Volkman back to New Zealand to have an operation after learning it might be months before he gets operated on in Australia.
“In regards to everything that’s happening on the peripheral of it, in terms of the RLPA and NRL looking into it, that’s all happening but I made a decision the other day that it’s the right thing to do for Ronald. I want to make sure he’s medically okay.
“I had a chat with [recruitment general manager] Andrew McFadden, [head coach] Andrew Webster, rang [owner] Mark Robinson ... this is what we do. We think this is the right thing to do by Ronald. He’s been a part of our club, we’re not just going to forget him. There wasn’t a fallout or anything, it was him taking up an opportunity because it was going to progress his career. For me, I just didn’t like what I was reading about him being stuck in a bit of a rut so this gave us a chance to help him and that’s all we’re doing. It’s just the right thing to do.
Volkman earlier told the Sydney Morning Herald he was looking at “a good six-month” stint on the sidelines because of the injury.
“The doc just told me I need a full reconstruction, which is something you don’t want to hear, but it has to be done,” Volkman told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s bittersweet I’m back home now but I need surgery. At least my family and partner have been looking out for me.”
The Warriors meanwhile have reportedly targeted Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele as their replacement for Addin Fonua-Blake — offering him a three-year deal from 2025.
- with AAP
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