Are you interested in purchasing a copy of Sione's book through the forum?

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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
bruce bruce :)
Harlz Harlz :)
Jay M :)
smc
tajhay :)
crump81 :)
Trugoy :)
raptstlz :)
Navigator Navigator :)
gREVUS :)

Have sent you all Chapter 3 of the book. If anyone else has paid up and not been messaged then please let me know via PM. If you havent already I also need your guys postal address. If you have a smiley face next to your username then Ive definitely got your details on my list.

Thanks guys...
 
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smc

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
752
bruce bruce :)
Harlz Harlz :)
Jay M :)
smc
tajhay :)
crump81 :)
Trugoy :)
raptstlz :)
Navigator Navigator :)
gREVUS :)

Have sent you all Chapter 3 of the book. If anyone else has paid up and not been messaged then please let me know via PM. If you havent already I also need your guys postal address. If you have a smiley face next to your username then Ive definitely got your details on my list.

Thanks guys...

There's always one moron that doesn't send their address when they order something.

Sorry if this has held up getting everyone's book sent out
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
There's always one moron that doesn't send their address when they order something.

Sorry if this has held up getting everyone's book sent out
Not a problem man.

All orders have been paid and now we're just awaiting its release. The three Australian residents that ordered have had their details sent to the Australian distributor and I'll be handling all the NZ ones. You will be receiving the book on or around the October 28th.

We managed to get 16 books preordered so well done to everyone involved.

Anyone else wanting a copy Sione will be doing a book launching tour in Auckland, Sydney and Queensland. I'll try get dates for those that wish to get along and get a copy of his book themselves. Failing that you can get it at the normal places like bookstores or Amazon...
 

STEEDEN

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 7, 2014
579
Auckland
How league's bad boy beat his habit of self-destruction


Sione Faumuina doesn't like talking about regrets.
Everyone has them, but the former Warriors star could carry a truckload, that if dwelt upon would become all consuming.

He had the potential to be one of the greatest sporting talents this country has produced, but was instead consumed by alcohol and erratic behaviour. Coaches, teammates, partners, friends - no one could curb his wild ways.

Faumuina has almost nothing to show for a decade as a professional league player, estimating that he had earned more than million dollars in that time.

"I was living from paycheck to paycheck, and most of it went on booze," admits Faumuina. "If I think about what I could have achieved...well it's better that I don't."

Faumuina was the enfant terrible of New Zealand rugby league in the 2000s, one of the bad boys of the sport for most of that decade.

He was supremely talented - on his day he could be one of the most destructive players in the game - and was a key member of the 2003 Warriors outfit that progressed to within one game of the grand final in thrilling fashion.

Faumuina was also good enough to represent his country and also played for the Canberra Raiders and North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL, as well as three English Super League clubs.

But Faumuina had a talent for self-destruction. He was a wild man off the field, never able to curb his excessive drinking habits which would often involve regular multi-day benders.

During his time at the Warriors, it wasn't uncommon for him to be out in Auckland city until 7am or 8am, before taking a taxi straight to the club for morning training.

Faumuina was seen as a walking time bomb. He was involved in several notorious alcohol related incidents, which were splashed across the back pages of major newspapers in New Zealand and Australia.

He left each of his clubs under a cloud, and was lucky to walk away from a car crash in Townsville in 2008, when he rolled his car three times. Faumuina ended up in court facing an assault charge after an incident in a Yorkshire nightclub during his third stint in England, and the final straw was when he turned up legless to a team recovery session.

Faumuina was also in a fiery relationship with former Silver Ferns captain Temepara George, which gained a massive media spotlight at the time.

Now Faumuina has decided to tell his story, in his book The Second Phase, which was published on Friday.

It's a compelling, though sometimes uncomfortable read, brutal in its honesty. Faumuina reaches rock bottom on numerous occasions, starts to get back on track, then plunges into a downward spiral again.

"I had so many chances to turn the corner and go in the right direction," admits Faumuina. "Sometimes I would, for a while, but never for long enough before I would be back into the same pattern again."

"I did some awesome things on the field, in some great games with some great teams. Unfortunately everybody remembers everything else about me, the drinking and all of the bad stuff. I wanted to at least tell my side of the story."

It's one hell of a tale, that doesn't always paint the 35-year-old in a great light. His honesty is as admirable as his lack of insight at the time regrettable.

Faumuina fell into professional league, not following the traditional pathways and development programs. Though he had played both rugby codes throughout his childhood, he excelled at basketball as a teenager, which gave him freakish ball skills, comparable to Sonny Bill Williams. They transferred well to league, when he returned to the sport in 1999 as an 18-year-old

"Things happened really fast," recalls Faumuina. "I played a few games for a mate's club team then was named in the Auckland Under-18 team. From there everything started to happen."

Faumuina was signed up by an agent after starring at the national tournament, then received offers to go to various NRL clubs, eventually accepting Canberra's offer.

"In the space of 12 months I went from playing junior club footy to an NRL team," said Faumuina. "It was probably too fast."

Living in a hostel, a homesick Faumuina turned to alcohol, and in his first year in Canberra soon reached rock bottom.

He hit a schoolboy as he was driving home drunk from a party one morning, and though the student walked away uninjured only tardy police work prevented more serious consequences.

"I was lucky and should have learned a lesson from that," says Faumuina. "But I didn't. It was just one of many indiscretions."

Later the same year the club's end of season 'Mad Monday' celebrations lasted five days, before Faumuina hopped on a plane and continued the partying in Auckland.
"I thought I was bullet proof, "says Faumuina. "But really I had no idea and no self-control."

Faumuina's exploits on the booze make your eyes water. He describes nights out where he would have 20 drinks (usually vodka), coupled with as many tequila shots, continuing onto lunchtime the next day.

There were consequences, and so many notorious incidents. He punched former New Zealand Sevens player Allan Bunting at a Whakatane touch tournament in 2004 (an incident he had no recollection of) then continued drinking heavily into the next day, abusing current and former All Blacks present from the sideline.

He was accused of assaulting a fan in downtown Auckland (though the case never went to court) and was totally "out of control" at a Warriors luncheon for club legend Awen Guttenbeil.

Faumuina claims to have only missed only one training session during his four seasons at the Warriors - when a weekend drinking session ended up at Waiheke Island - but was banished from another by the coaching staff, due to his visible intoxication.

Both the Warriors and Cowboys sent him on counselling and Alcoholics Anonymous courses, but he didn't take them seriously, joking in the book that "buying new pairs of Nike Air Jordans was my idea of '12 steps'"

Somehow, he kept on playing some solid football. He was a standout for the Warriors in 2003 and again in 2005, both seasons when he cut back significantly on his partying lifestyle.

That's the enigma of Faumuina; he had a decent career, despite spending most of it off the rails. But he could never break free of the demons, which saw him cut by almost every club he played for.

George isn't named in the book. Instead she is referred to as 'the girl' or 'my girlfriend', with Faumuina simply saying that "Temepara didn't want to be named".

It was a volatile relationship, off and on for five years, with media and public fascination over two sports people at the top of their respective careers.

"It was an experience," says Faumuina now. "She was well loved by everybody so it was hard; being compared to who she was."

The duo had some spectacular public arguments, with the most notable ending with Faumuina smashing her car windscreen with his fist after a drunken tirade in downtown Auckland. On the same night he was accused of assaulting a man beside an ATM machine, though charges were never laid.

Faumuina's life finally changed in 2014, during a conversation with his lawyer. They were discussing access to his first child, after his former partner had left him and moved away.

"She told me it's alcohol or your daughter - which do you love more?", recalls Faumuina. "In my head something finally clicked; it wasn't about me anymore. I found a reason to change, finally. "

That was February 14, 2014 and Faumuina has been sober since - admitting he is "too scared of alcohol" to touch it. Based in Brisbane, he owns a laundromat with his new partner Renay, has a second child (Ella;18 months) and last week was offered a job as a youth facilitator for at risk teenagers.

"It's something I am really passionate about," says Faumuina. "If I can help them avoid some of the mistakes I made..that would be something special."

Faumuina was very much the wrong guy, at the wrong time. He was already fond of alcohol as a teenager, but his move to Canberra plunged him headlong into the NRL's drinking culture. It was his escape, his way to fit in and his crutch through the tough times.

It started a habit - Faumuina recoils at the term alcoholic, but admits there is evidence of "an addiction" - that didn't stop throughout his career.

Incidents on the booze still happen today, as we have seen this year in both rugby and league, but there is much more support around players and their welfare and mental health, particularly for younger sportspeople.

"Life with Sione was like being on a roller coaster," says fellow Kiwi and contemporary David Solomona, who has known Faumuina since he was 16-years-old. He tiptoed the line between absolute stardom and becoming a public failure, and ultimately succumbed to the pressures of it all."

Solomona, who represented the Kiwis and Samoa as well as turning out for five professional clubs, now works for the NRL in their Wellbeing and Education department, a section that didn't exist in the last decade.

"I believe it would have benefited someone like Sione," writes Solomona in the book. "Understanding, educating and supporting our young players from an early age is something we need to learn not just as a sport but as a society. Pressure to succeed, pressure to provide and pressure to change habits ingrained from childhood can lead to many of our youth struggling to cope with life at the best of times, let alone on TV and in newspapers. Let our mistakes guide us, not define us."

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11737731
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
totally "out of control" at a Warriors luncheon for club legend Awen Guttenbeil.
I know the guy that was involved in this incident. He is a card collector and asked Sione to sign one. Sione was drunk and told the kid to fuck off then proceeded to rant away loudly. He was pulled out of the event at that stage.

Meeting up with Sione tomorrow for lunch at Lynmall and to collect the forums books. Will post out tomorrow so those that ordered should receive them early next week...
 
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BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
6,840
Sione is your classic apitomy of the Warriors. Wasted talent with no self control, ambition or focus.

Had he turned his life around during his career then yeah, sure tell your story. I would be interested to hear it. But he didnt. He was an arrogant, drunk ungrateful prick throughout. Another one of the many who think they are bigger than the game. Sione had plenty of second chances to make up for his past discretions. The fact its only come to him well after he's left the scene and retired isnt good enough. I'm happy for him but he doesnt have a story to tell that is worth listening to unless you're a nosy fanboy.

Those who read his book will either pity the guy or think he's a total dickhead. If you want a good autobiography - i just finished reading Richard Branson's. Now that is a book to be inspired about.

Sorry for the rant.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Sione is your classic apitomy of the Warriors. Wasted talent with no self control, ambition or focus.

Had he turned his life around during his career then yeah, sure tell your story. I would be interested to hear it. But he didnt. He was an arrogant, drunk ungrateful prick throughout. Another one of the many who think they are bigger than the game. Sione had plenty of second chances to make up for his past discretions. The fact its only come to him well after he's left the scene and retired isnt good enough. I'm happy for him but he doesnt have a story to tell that is worth listening to unless you're a nosy fanboy.

Those who read his book will either pity the guy or think he's a total dickhead. If you want a good autobiography - i just finished reading Richard Branson's. Now that is a book to be inspired about.

Sorry for the rant.
Nosy fanboy? Thanks for that...
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
15,724
Sione is your classic apitomy of the Warriors. Wasted talent with no self control, ambition or focus.
I haven't read it yet. I am always suspicious of sporting memoirs and have read some crap at times. Some have been good though.

What I have seen so far in this is a guy with an unusual ability do absorb alcohol. Given certain circumstances these guys can often go out of control.

I am interested in what went on at the Warriors though.
 

BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
6,840
Nosy fanboy? Thanks for that...

Lolz. Maybe that was a bad choice of words.

I have to admit, your comment where he told a kid who wanted his autograph to fuck off because he was drunk at Guttenbeils luncheon is absolutely disgraceful. That pretty much triggered my response. If there's any stories of him not being a total dick I'd love to hear about it.

Oh and the other story of him going on a nightly binge and then showing up to training the next morning at 8am half plastered is just stupidity or arrogance in the highest order. It really pisses me off to read that sort of stuff and it boggles my mind how this sort of behavior would occur in any organization. I'd be embarrassed to tell the world about it.
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
How could Sione give a proper account given he was drunk most of the time?
Thats being silly. He clearly wasnt seeing as he played 88 games for us. He knows more about the place than any of us ever will. Particularly the period of the Warriors that has always intrigued me. The Anderson era.

I also dont think its nice of you to come on here and call the 15 people who preordered the book fanboys. If you dont want to read it then good for you but let the rest of us enjoy it if thats ok with you Mr Perfect...
 

BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
6,840
Oh come on Mt. I'm sure you've been called worst things than a "nosy fanboy".

If its actually a good read let us know. I'll try to borrow it from the library or wait until it reaches bargin discount prices at Whitcoulls.

One thing I disagree on is your point that he knows more about the place than any of us ever will. I think alot of people on this forum (myself included) know a few Warrior players from the club - and you yourself know people who could tell you a thing or two about the organisation. Both past and present. He'll give his two cents no doubt. But I'd take it with a grain of salt until Anderson or one of the other coaches writes their memoirs.

Anyway, happy reading.

Regards,

Mr Perfect.
 

Navigator

Christchurch Born n bred white bait fed.
Contributor
May 19, 2012
2,124
Brisbane Queensland Australia
I like the book as it gives an insight in to the life and struggles of a young guy who had thought he had every thing he had dreamed of once he made first grade.
A lot of our jnrs could do with reading this.
Some times it seems we are better off being humble 40 hour workers.
 
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smc

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
752
Book has arrived.
Got it sent to the Mrs so she thinks I got her a present. She'll enjoy this present as much as that time I got her concert tickets to a band she'd never heard of for her birthday.

Thanks guys
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
15,724
Sione is your classic apitomy of the Warriors. Wasted talent with no self control, ambition or focus.

Had he turned his life around during his career then yeah, sure tell your story. I would be interested to hear it. But he didnt. He was an arrogant, drunk ungrateful prick throughout. Another one of the many who think they are bigger than the game. Sione had plenty of second chances to make up for his past discretions. The fact its only come to him well after he's left the scene and retired isnt good enough. I'm happy for him but he doesnt have a story to tell that is worth listening to unless you're a nosy fanboy.

Those who read his book will either pity the guy or think he's a total dickhead. If you want a good autobiography - i just finished reading Richard Branson's. Now that is a book to be inspired about.

Sorry for the rant.
I haven't read the book yet.

I had a bit to do with a young guy once. He was a good young guy but when he hit the booze a switch flicked and he turned into a prize dickhead. Most of us know when we have had a few too many and can ease off, some people don't and just turn ugly. I made a pact with this young guy and his parents that if he was ever in trouble he could ring me and I would come and get him. That eased the pressure on his parents but gave me a few late night calls to attend to. It took some time, quite a lot in fact but eventually I got him sorted, he found a good woman and he settled down. He gave the drink away and you would never guess now what he was like.

I doubt Sione is writing the book for the money because there won't be much in it for him. So to write about what a dickhead he was takes some courage IMO. If it were me I would be looking for rock to hide under. He must think there is a story worth telling to young kids coming into the game now.

From what I can see he was a naive young kid taken out of a supportive family environment into the high pressure and the booze culture that is Australian league. Booze became his crutch and his ability to absorb alcohol made it even worse. If I was at one of the functions where he misbehaved I might have a different view, and I might even change my mind by reading the book.

Sadly though he was a wasted talent. I will add more when I read the book. I think it is waiting in my post pox.
 
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Tragic

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 27, 2016
4,009
Kumeu
It's difficult because you look at what he had in terms of talent and opportunity And it was wasted in a lot of ways, although he still had some pretty good periods with us. On top of that we were paying to watch the b**d and to help our team win and he was off having a good time on the piss.
But then I think back to when I was in my early twenties and I was out doing the same thing every week and I don't know if I would have been any different if I was getting paid to play league.
What it really highlights though is a club that didn't have culture and/or infrastructure to help these young guys adapt to being a professional and the support that some of them obviously need, especially ones who have come up through the grades with lotsa talent, size and speed who haven't had to work to get to the top level in nz.
 

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