The Newcastle trainer at the center of the David Klemmer furore has spoken out about the week-long saga that threatened to divide the club.
Experienced NRL trainer Hayden Knowles and fiery prop Klemmer had an on-field run-in when the latter was asked to leave the field during last week’s loss to the Bulldogs.
A HR complaint was subsequently lodged and Klemmer had to be stood down by the club, and was made unavailable for selection for round 21.
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That freezeout has since been lifted and Klemmer and Knowles have put any differences behind them.
Knowles spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald to further explain the situation.
“The swearing wasn’t the issue. That’s what everyone is losing sight of,” Knowles said.
“For me it’s not personal with Klem. It wouldn’t matter if it was Kalyn Ponga, Nathan Cleary, Junior Paulo or Payne Haas.
“It wouldn’t matter who it is. If someone puts themselves before the team, I would forever die for the fact that I won’t tolerate that behaviour. The behavior is what I was against, not the person.
“The swearing is not the issue. Swearing doesn’t bother me. I feel like my reputation has taken a hit. I’ve worked 23 years to build that.
“Nathan Hindmarsh rang me during the week. I’m mates for life with Nathan Hindmarsh, and we had a spray every other week at Parra.”
Speaking after the Knights’ round 21 victory over the Tigers, coach Adam O’Brien said Klemmer would return next week with the situation now “dealt with.”
“No doubt, he’s dealt with now, he’s back in the team,” he said.
“He’s back training now so I can pick him on Tuesday.”
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