Warriors grant Vatuvei medical leave
New Zealand Warriors have granted Manu Vatuvei leave on medical grounds, as confirmed by managing director Jim Doyle on Tuesday.
The winger was one of six Warriors dropped for Sunday's home clash against St. George Illawarra Dragons after breaching off-field protocol following a 42-0 loss to Melbourne Storm on ANZAC Day.
The group were disciplined for mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks during a night out.
"Following medical advice received today, Manu is now on leave. We would ask that everyone respects his and his family's right to privacy at this time," Doyle said in a statement.
"Our focus is on the welfare of the six players involved.
"We are continuing to have meetings with the other players following last week's events."
Vatuvei was joined by Albert Vete, Sam Lisone, Konrad Hurrell, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson - the latter two who have, like Vatuvei, also been ruled ineligible for Friday's trans-Tasman Test against Australia in Newcastle.
Otherwise know as "the beast", Vatuvei has played for the Warriors at a first-grade level for more than decade, scoring 148 tries for the club as well as 29 Tests for New Zealand.