Jarome Luai speaks on controversial social media post, Instagram, Blues v Maroons, why did he do it, rugby league news

New South Wales playmaker Jarome Luai has expressed some regret over a controversial post on social media app Instagram following the Blues’ Game II loss last year.

A few hours after the Maroons clinched the 2023 series with a 32-6 win at Accor Stadium, Luai posted a photo of him sitting on the field with the caption ‘chill, you idiots have work tomorrow’.

Luai was sent off in the dying minutes of that Game II loss after head butting Maroons star Reece Walsh, which started a fracas.

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Luai has said that the Instagram post was aimed to call out those who sent him messages of abuse following the game.

However, the 27-year-old says he isn’t “proud with how I dealt with that”.

“I responded out of anger. I want to make amends for that,” he told the SMH.

“I’m not proud with how I dealt with that. I was a bit angry and a bit emotional about it. But I think, in a way, that just shows a bit of humanity.

“I don’t want winning the fans back to be a motivation of mine. I want them to see my passion for the jersey. I can draw that line of connection with them and feed off their passion for the jersey and wear it with pride. Passion for me is home and family.

“That’s what the blue jersey is for me. This is where I grew up. It’s my childhood.

“Those late nights out there on the streets as kids playing touch footy, pretending to be this Blues player or that Blues player. I’m sure everyone else in NSW experienced that as well.

“That’s what I want to play for; their childhoods, their home towns, and just show that passion out there.”

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Luai says while he wished he addressed the situation a little bit better, he isn’t changing for anyone.

“I don’t have to change, it is just about portraying my message better,” he said.

“The way I hold myself in public, the way I speak. I think any mistake that we (players) do, being under the spotlight, it’s going to get a lot more attention on it and our mistakes are going to just flow on to the people who are close to us as well.”

Luai has toned back his brash persona in Blues camp over the past 10 days or so, with his trademark boombox yet to make an apperance.

“It’s time to talk. It’s time to talk man, it’s just time to tell our community and the people of NSW how much this means to us and what we’re willing to do come game day,” Luai said.

“Put it on pause … but I’ll put it on play (later).”

The Blues dropped Luai for Game III last year for Cody Walker, who was man of the match in a dead rubber win for New South Wales.

The Panthers star will get his chance to atone on Wednesday night, in what is his eighth game for New South Wales but in a unique test, it’ll be just the second time in the Origin arena he won’t be partnered by club teammate Nathan Cleary in the halves.

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