Members of the Australian men’s Rugby Sevens team are devastated that their boozy night out in Rio earned a reprimand from team officials instead of a nomination for this year’s Frownlow Medal.
The Sevens players returned late to the athletes village after a big night partying at the world famous entertainment venues of Copacabana, in an effort to qualify for Australia’s most prestigious inter-code award. Unfortunately for the boys, they wasted their effort, because the Medal is only open to players from the 15-a-side game.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
The Sevens players hit the famous night spot with a clear plan to cause as much havoc as possible and catch the attention of Frownlow judges.
“We’re devo!” said team captain Ed Jenkins.
“We started planning this night out as soon as we lost the game in the quarter finals.
We downed a few Guarana and Caipirinha, then moved onto Cachaca, Vinho Quimico and Capeta before the boys tracked down some Brahma and Skol. It was epic,” he explained.
“We painted the town red – because we couldn’t paint it Gold.”
Team officials, including Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, were said to be so angry that they reprimanded rugby team management – not the players – team management.
The players will now have to content themselves with watching the award ceremony in October to see if rugby counterparts like Pek Cowan, Adam Coleman and Dane Haylett-Petty can win the 2016 Frownlow Medal.