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Cowboys sack rising NRL star Ulugia

North Queensland have sacked rising star Wayne Ulugia barely a week ahead of their opening NRL pre-season trial after a series of conduct breaches.
Cowboys sack rising NRL star Ulugia
by AAP

BRISBANE, Jan 30 AAP - North Queensland have sacked rising star Wayne Ulugia barely a week ahead of their opening NRL pre-season trial after a series of conduct breaches.

Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain would not go into too many details on Thursday but revealed the ex-Junior Kiwi had committed "continual conduct breaches, which came despite the player receiving professional guidance from inside and outside the club, (that) could no longer be tolerated".

He said the Cowboys would now search for another player to add to their 2014 roster just days before new coach Paul Green was set to name his first side on Tuesday for their opening trial against Brisbane in Redcliffe on February 8.

Auckland-born utility back Ulugia, 21, made his NRL debut late in 2013 and played a total of four games including North Queensland's dramatic finals loss to Cronulla.

He scored six tries including a double on debut against Newcastle - only the second brace by a Cowboy in his first NRL match.

Ulugia was named in Samoa's 2013 Rugby League World Cup train-on squad.

"We will not be going into details of the breaches," Jourdain said in a statement.

"Wayne is aware he has not met the standards required and despite efforts from both he and the club to get him on the right track, the problems continue to occur.

"There's no doubt he has enormous talent as a footballer and we have seen that develop through his time at the Cowboys, but we have a code of conduct that has to be followed.

"If Wayne wishes, we will continue to help him through this period of his life even though he will no longer be a part of our NRL squad.

"We hope that at some stage in the future he can make a success of his rugby league career."


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