The Roar
The Roar


Should we marginalise NRL's d--kheads?

Luke Walsh and Josh Dugan have a disagreement during the NRL round 23, Penrith Panthers V Canberra Raiders in Penrith, Sunday Aug. 12, 2012. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox)
17th March, 2013
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I have a mate who is usually a lovely, intelligent bloke. On occasion though he can have too much of the jungle juice and morph into a bouncer-sledging, drink-spilling, headlock-dealing character called Davo.

Davo is a dickhead.

The NRL, as a sporting competition, is blessed with numerous Davos.

Recently this rugby league sub-set have again been dragged into the spotlight after Josh ‘Davo’ Dugan, self-appointed king of the Davos, was found to have tweeted a selfie of himself drinking a prettily-coloured pre-mixed alcoholic beverage while injured.

This simple social media faux pas launched an avalanche of anti-Davo sentiment from the rugby league community, with the result being Dugan being turfed out of Canberra on his heavily tattooed caboose and much lauding of the Raiders’ tough ‘No Davos’ policy.

And all was right with the world – until a Davo-free Raiders side travelled to Queensland yesterday and were summarily spanked by the Gold Coast Davos United.

So what gives?

I’ll tell you what gives the ‘No Davos’ policy away as a myth.

Ever since the term was coined a few years ago it has become the mantra of every sporting CEO worth their reserved parking spot, yet it shows an extraordinarily narrow view of what makes a team successful.


The fact is Davos are everywhere. Take a good look around your work now, spot any Davos? I bet you do.

Certainly there was a few at the scorching Skilled Park yesterday as Nate Myles, Greg Bird and Albert Kelly – all blokes who have worn the Davo tag – tore apart the nice guys in green.

Sure perhaps the better term for these guys is reformed Davos, but if you applied the aforementioned policy to the letter there is no such thing. Just Davo and non-Davo.

Coach Cartwright isn’t the only one to fly the Davo flag either. The game’s greatest ever coach Wayne Bennett currently helming a roster chock full of Davos, including one front rower who by now should have been presented a life membership to rugby league’s Davo society by John Hopoate.

This is not to say however that the Raiders should have done anything different with Dugan, as it is clear from other player comments that his behaviour had created an impossible team environment.

It’s just that those bemoaning the fact that Dugan is free to pack up his crap attitude and make a fresh start elsewhere are showing a degree of short-sightedness.

Yes, it sucks for Raiders fans that again a star player has stuffed them about and is set to shine for another team.

But not all workers can excel in every work environment under all bosses, and if the Dragons want to take a punt and give Dugan 600k a year (accounting for the alcopop tax) on the hope they’ll score a try this season then that’s their right to do so.


And, if it’s any consolation to Raiders fans, I’ve learnt from experience that as annoying as they can be a Davo who’s not your responsibility can actually be quite entertaining to watch.

Preferably from a distance where they can’t get you in a headlock.

Follow Chris on Twitter @Vic_Arious