JUSTIN Poore says he was hounded out of the NRL by pressure and criticism – but has vowed to return.
The former NSW prop’s eventful early tenure at Wakefield continued on Saturday night when Hull KR’s Lincoln Withers was carried off on a stretcher after trying to tackle him at Belle Vue during the Wildcats’ 36-20 win.
He tells Rugby League Week he had offers to stay in the NRL after parting with Parramatta but he’d had enough.
“I had an opportunity to go to a few clubs in Australia but …mate, I needed a change and I’m really glad I did,” the 28-year-old says.
“I felt a lot of pressure at home, especially after getting injured pretty bad at Parra.
“I felt like I was playing pretty good football and no disrespect to the journos but they were just giving me a really hard time and I just felt I had to get away for a bit and try and re-find the love for the game.
“I’ve come over here and the boys have been really good.”
Poore says his routine away from football has changed dramatically. “At home I got stuck in my ways. I would go home, go for a surf, do nothing.
“Over here, I’ve been travelling a bit, taking my wife with me, it’s been really good for me. I’ve got a chance to get away from everything but concentrate on footy as well.”
Poore says his NRL career is definitely not over and he will most likely return when his contract expires at the end of next season. “I definitely want to go back, I don’t want to finish my career here,” he said.
And despite being eligible for England, “to be brutally honest, I’m an Aussie and that’s it.”
Poore said the collision with Withers at the weekend was an accident. “I think he just leaned down and I sort of copped him with an elbow when I was running,” Poore said.
“It’s just the style I run with and I feel pretty bad actually. He was split open pretty bad so I hope he’s alright.”
Poore was sent off for punching Leeds’ Ryan Bailey in his first game for Wakefield, on Boxing Day.
“It was just one of those things – a bit of testosterone with me and Bails,” he said. “I think he’s pretty over it and I am as well. It’s in the past and I’m sure we’ve moved on.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK