General Villasanti: I should have left sooner


Former Kangaroo forward Richard Villasanti says he lost enthusiasm for playing rugby league after staying two years too long at the New Zealand Warriors.

Villasanti, who signed with Cronulla this month after five-and-a-half NRL seasons at the Warriors, admits he contemplated taking time off from the game after being dumped to to New Zealand's Bartercard Cup.

But after returning "home" to Australia, the 25-year-old Canberra product said he is now ready to revive his career.

"I think I sort of was hitting a stale patch," said Villasanti, who has been named for his Sharks NRL debut this weekend after being included on the bench against the Bulldogs on Sunday.

"A lot of players, if they stay at the one club for so long, they sort of get stale and probably get complacent in the things that they're doing and I think that was the same with me.

"I probably stayed there maybe two years too long.

"But now, new club, fresh move, enthusiasm's back and to make things even better I'm back at home."

Villasanti, 26, played a test against New Zealand in 2003 after leading the Warriors' forwards in their charge to the 2002 NRL grand final.

He said his nose-dive into New Zealand's Bartercard Cup and the Warriors telling him he was free to move on at the beginning of the season were the result of both physical and mental pressures.

"I contemplated having a rest for a while, it is a big strain on your body and mind so I was thinking of having a rest but never giving it away," he said.

Villasanti was the first Warriors player to represent Australia, after plenty of fans had mistaken the 111kg front rower for a New Zealander.

That perception lives on.

"(Sharks coach) Stu Raper, as soon as I came here, he tossed me into the `Kiwi corner' in the locker room... `cause there's a few Kiwis here.

"What he's got to realise is I'm not Kiwi.

"I played junior Kiwis so I was eligible to play for the top side but that was only because my grandmother is a New Zealand resident, not a citizen.

"Playing for the Kiwis, that might come up later in the future but now I just want to play good for the club and rep footy is the furthest thing from my mind at the moment."

But he added he would aim for a New South Wales or Australian jersey before exploring his eligibility for New Zealand.

"Firstly I've got to get back in the top side and play regularly week-in, week-out and as I start to get match fit my form should speak for itself.

"You never know, things might happen at the end of the year if I have a good probably seven or eight weeks.

"You can't really look into the future but you can hope it turns out that way."


hope he,s playing 1st grade when we play the sharks.

teach the boy some respect.


it would have been interesting if he had left a few years earlier. I know it is a if only situation but maybe guys like rapira would have goten a chance earlier if villa wasn't in the team


I can't wait for the Sharks match now. It's a bugger that we play them in Sydney first.


Fair enough, but atleast give up (and leave) or get some renewed enthusiasm rather than going through the motions and pretending you care. All this time he has been wearing the Warriors jersey with a lack of enthusiasm, like it can be toyed with or something.


Maybe thats what Toopi is going through...we'll certainly found out next year whether a change of scenery will lift his game.


not his fault he get's picked.

Up to the coaching staff to pick this up, like Ivan has with Toopi and Richard.

Lookes like Kemp may have missed the boat in the skill and was picking on reputation...not effort put in during the games and training.


i dont like the fact that he is toying with allying with the kiwis. im sick of this. the kiwis arent a shortcut way of playing rep footy. just cos ur not good enough to play for origin or australia it doesnt mean we want ur sorry ass.


commonsense said:
i dont like the fact that he is toying with allying with the kiwis. im sick of this. the kiwis arent a shortcut way of playing rep footy. just cos ur not good enough to play for origin or australia it doesnt mean we want ur sorry ass.

I agree mate, he needs to make up his bloody mind. As far as I'm concerned, he's represented Australia already and they can have him.


He's had his fun in the sun at the Warriors, but that's time now official over time for him to get up and live life. If he does well and gets better into rep footy fine (no kiwis for him thank you).

It's done and dusted and now I really can't care less what he does. I'm just paying my full attention to the guys that are still with us and those who will be us for a long time.

Warriors to the end!


Villasanti is an australian born and bred, played one test for australia and should never be considered for the kiwis.we have more than enough players of our own.


He should have left earlier but NRL clubs would not have picked him up due to off the field rumours.

Thye worst thing about this article is the fact that he playedd for the JKs as his grandmother LIVED in NZ for a while. That 'rule' is a SHOCKER !!!!!


I'll give him a serve from the stands at cronulla for you PM don't worry about that...

Similar threads

  • Locked
c gatis_old
boats n hoes_old

Last Game

08 May

10 - 29
3.9 Total Avg Rating
2.2 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 13 ratings