Connors and coach Hardwick had to be separated
Daniel Connors almost came to blows with Richmond AFL coach Damien Hardwick when Connors was sacked at a meeting with the club this week, the Nine Network has claimed.
Emerging star Dustin Martin was suspended for two weeks by the Tigers and Connors was shown the door after they were late to training on Tuesday, saying they had taken sleeping pills and slept through alarms.
Connors took his own prescription medication, while Martin took a friend’s sleeping tablets and had also been drinking alcohol.
Connors had a history of off-field problems at Richmond.
Nine’s The Footy Show reported on Thursday night that Martin and Connors partied on Monday, returning to Connors’ house at 10pm where the fun continued until about 2am when they both took sleeping tablets.
They were only woken when assistant coach Wayne Campbell drove to Connors’ house and knocked on the door, the program said.
Connors was on his last warning with the Tigers and was called to a meeting with a furious Hardwick. The conversation between the pair became so heated that they had to be restrained, according to Nine.
The program praised Richmond’s handling of the issue, saying the Tigers had been open about the players’ behaviour surrounding the sleeping-pills drama.
The Tigers have taken the word of the players that nothing further happened beyond what has already been revealed by the club and Melbourne’s football media should follow suit, the program added.
TV panellists Matthew Lloyd, the former Essendon star, and current players Josh Gibson (Hawthorn) and Nick Dal Santo (St Kilda) said sleeping pills were sometimes used at clubs.
“When you’re playing a night game, you might have a recovery session the next morning and it’s often pretty hard to get to sleep after a night game,” Gibson said.
“That’s as far as it goes.”
A Tigers spokesman told AAP late on Thursday night he had not seen the program and declined to comment on Nine’s claim that the pair had to be physically separated.© AAP 2013