Former Australian rugby league winger Joel Monaghan has quit the Canberra Raiders after a prank photograph of him simulating a sex act with a dog was posted on the internet, and will look to continue his career in Europe.
Monaghan, whose picture was taken at the team’s end-of-season party, broke down while delivering a press statement on Tuesday, and his manager Jim Banaghan had to finish the prepared remarks.
“There are no hard feelings or grudges towards anyone else,” the Australian Associated Press quoted Monaghan as saying outside the club’s office.
“They’re my actions and I’m totally responsible. I’ll have to handle the jokes and taunts which is understandable, but the players shouldn’t have to put up with pressure that my ongoing presence will bring.”
The 28-year-old, who had two years left on his contract with the Raiders, said he will now seek to play in the Super League in England. His brother Michael plays for the Warrington Wolves.
Australia’s governing National Rugby League said there would be no further action against the 28-year-old player.
“In light of the decisions Joel has taken there does not appear to be a need for further action from the NRL,” Chief Executive David Gallop was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
“It is too early to start talking about when Joel could return to the NRL competition – that is something we would address at a later time.”